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Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project
Based on consultations with nongovernmental experts around the world
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Contents Executive Summary Methodology Introduction The Contradictions of Globalization An Expanding and Integrating Global Economy The Technology Revolution Lingering Social Inequalities Page 9 19 25 27 29 34 37 40 47 48 51 56 59 63 64 73 73 79 83 93 93 97 98 100 104 111 Fictional Scenario: Davos World Rising Powers: The Changing Geopolitical Landscape Rising Asia Other Rising States? The “Aging” Powers Growing Demands for Energy US Unipolarity—How Long Can It Last? Fictional Scenario: Pax Americana New Challenges to Governance Halting Progress on Democratization Identity Politics Fictional Scenario: A New Caliphate Pervasive Insecurity Transmuting International Terrorism Intensifying Internal Conflicts Rising Powers: Tinder for Conflict? The WMD Factor Fictional Scenario: Cycle of Fear Policy Implications .
1990-2003 31 32 48 50 51 59 60 80 82 83 101 5 . 1985–2025 Global Trends in Internal Conflict. 2003–2025 Fossil Fuels Will Continue to Dominate in 2020 An Expanding European Union Number of Religious Adherents. 1900–2025 Key Areas of Radical Islamic Activities Since 1992 EU: Estimated and Projected Muslim Population.Graphics and Tables China’s and India’s Per Capita GDPs Rising Against US When China’s and India’s GDPs Would Exceed Today’s Rich Countries Telescoping the Population of the World to 2020 China’s Rise Projected Rise in Defense Spending.
China: Long-Term Prospects Asia: The Cockpit for Global Change? Global Aging and Migration Could Europe Become A Superpower? The Geopolitics of Gas Eurasian Countries: Going Their Separate Ways? Climate Change and Its Implications Through 2020 Latin America in 2020: Will Globalization Cause the Region to Split? Organized Crime Cyber Warfare? How Can Sub-Saharan Africa Move Forward? International Institutions in Crisis The Rules of War: Entering “No Man’s Land” Post-Combat Environments Pose the Biggest Challenge Is the United States’ Technological Prowess at Risk? How the World Sees the United States 8 26 28 30 36 38 52 53 55 58 61 62 74 76 78 96 97 99 102 103 104 112 114 7 .Special Topics The 2020 Global Landscape Mapping the Global Future What Would an Asian Face on Globalization Look Like? What Could Derail Globalization? Biotechnology: Panacea and Weapon The Status of Women in 2020 Risks to Chinese Economic Growth India vs.
ability of terrorists to acquire biological. Growing power of nonstate actors. Aging populations in established powers. whether EU becomes a superpower. US will remain single most powerful actor economically. or nuclear weapons. Asia. Precipitating events leading to overthrow of regimes. Ability to manage flashpoints and competition for resources. World economy substantially larger. supply disruptions. Political Islam remains a potent force. 8 . Impact of religiosity on unity of states and potential for conflict. managing or containing financial crises. Whether rise of China/India occurs smoothly.” Extent of gaps between “haves” and “have-nots”. chemical.The 2020 Global Landscape Relative Certainties Globalization largely irreversible. Environmental and ethical issues even more to the fore. likely to become less Westernized. growth of jihadist ideology. Extent to which connectivity challenges governments. Key Uncertainties Whether globalization will pull in lagging economies. Whether other countries will more openly challenge Washington. degree to which Asian countries set new “rules of the game. Improved WMD capabilities of some states. Ability of EU and Japan to adapt work forces. Energy supplies “in the ground” sufficient to meet global demand. Rise of Asia and advent of possible new economic middle-weights. Willingness and ability of states and international institutions to accommodate these actors. whether US loses S&T edge. Increasing number of global firms facilitate spread of new technologies. Political instability in producer countries. radiological. militarily. Great power conflict escalating into total war unlikely. technologically. Extent to which new technologies create or resolve ethical dilemmas. welfare systems. backsliding by fragile democracies. More or fewer nuclear powers. Arc of instability spanning Middle East. Africa. and integrate migrant populations.
Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations—projected by the US Census Bureau to be 1. with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries. Emerging powers in Asia. and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries. 9 . led by China and India.Executive Summary At no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux. As we map the future.” the 21st century may be seen as the time when Asia. Other significant characteristics include: the rise of new powers. including terrorism.4 billion and almost 1. India’s GNP will have overtaken or be on the threshold of overtaking European economies. a roiling Middle East. retrenchment in Eurasia. The role of the United States will be an important variable in how the world is shaped. The economies of other developing countries. as new major global players—similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape. In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the “American Century.3 billion respectively by 2020—their standard of living need not approach Western levels for these countries to become important economic powers. New Global Players The likely emergence of China and India. The very magnitude and speed of change resulting from a globalizing world—apart from its precise character—will be a defining feature of the world out to 2020. such as Brazil. • Barring an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or any major upheavals in these countries. but the repercussions from these momentous events are still unfolding. new challenges to governance. expanding military capabilities. the prospects for increasing global prosperity and the limited likelihood of great power conflict provide an overall favorable environment for coping with what are otherwise daunting challenges. and transatlantic divisions are among the issues that have only come to a head in recent years. influencing the path that states and nonstate actors choose to follow. The end of the Cold War shifted the tectonic plates. Indonesia’s economy could also approach the economies of individual European countries by 2020. could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020. as well as others. Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties. and a more pervasive sense of insecurity. • Most forecasts indicate that by 2020 China’s gross national product (GNP) will exceed that of individual Western economic powers except for the United States. A combination of sustained high economic growth. comes into its own. the rise of these new powers is a virtual certainty.
and unified trade bloc—an enlarged Europe will be able to increase its weight on the international scene. But aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent. Tokyo may have to choose between “balancing” against or “bandwagoning” with China. A state-bound world and a world of mega-cities. Traditional geographic groupings will increasingly lose salience in international relations. less fixed than in the past. the United States and Europe. and a potentially explosive AIDS situation. education. Russia faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates. Competition for allegiances will be more open. and people throughout the world—as an overarching “mega-trend.” a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all the other major trends in the world of 2020. To the south. trade and finance. and tax systems. With these and other new global actors. Russia has the potential to enhance its international role with others due to its position as a major oil and gas exporter. the effects of which—Muslim extremism. Either European countries adapt their work forces. technology. terrorism. Some aspects of globalization—such as the growing global interconnectedness stemming from the information technology (IT) revolution— almost certainly will be irreversible. goods. North and South. it borders an unstable region in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Europe’s strength could be in providing a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers. aligned and nonaligned. India. and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries). but it also will be challenged to evaluate its regional status and role.By most measures—market size. Yet it is also possible. But the future of globalization is not fixed. that the process of globalization could be slowed or even stopped. although unlikely. the crisis over North Korea is likely to come to a head sometime over the next 15 years. capital. Impact of Globalization We see globalization—growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information. poor medical care. The “arriviste” powers—China. and perhaps others such as Brazil and Indonesia—have the potential to render obsolete the old categories of East and West. linked by flows of telecommunications. developed and developing. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player. reform their social welfare. However. highly skilled work force. single currency. Japan faces a similar aging crisis that could crimp its longer run economic recovery. Moscow is likely to be an important partner both for the established powers. or they face a period of protracted economic stasis. just as the era of globalization 10 . states and nonstate actors—including both private companies and NGOs—will struggle to shape its contours. Asians’ lingering resentments and concerns over Korean unification and cross-Taiwan Strait tensions point to a complicated process for achieving regional equilibrium. and endemic conflict—are likely to continue spilling over into Russia. Meanwhile. stable democratic governments. and for the rising powers of China and India. how we mentally map the world in 2020 will change radically. will co-exist. services.
Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues. and efforts by global corporations to diversify their high-tech operations will foster the spread of new technologies. too. In contrast. Indeed. The greatest benefits of globalization will accrue to countries and groups that can access and adopt new technologies. and greater S&T stature. especially if they feel squeezed by their growing dominance in key sectors of the global marketplace. India. and average per capita income will be roughly 50 percent higher. Those left behind in the developing world may resent China and India’s rise. Rising powers will see exploiting the opportunities afforded by the emerging global marketplace as the best way to assert their great power status on the world stage. will benefit from gains in the world economy. universal education. Yet the benefits of globalization won’t be global. and even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific. And large pockets of poverty will persist even in “winner” countries. High-tech breakthroughs—such as in genetically modified organisms and increased food production—could provide a safety net eliminating the threat of starvation and ameliorating basic quality of life issues for poor countries. Barring such a turn of events. a nation’s level of technological achievement generally will be defined in terms of its investment in integrating and applying the new. Of course. The United States. China and India are well positioned to become technology leaders. will see its relative power position eroded. the world economy is likely to continue growing impressively: by 2020. globally available technologies—whether the technologies are acquired through a country’s own basic research or from technology leaders. skipping over phases that other high-tech leaders such as the United States and Europe had to traverse in order to advance. Most countries around the world. 11 .in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was reversed by catastrophic war and global depression. more firms becoming world-class multinationals. and market reforms. there will be cyclical ups and downs and periodic financial or other crises. cheap technologies to fuel—although at a slower rate—their own development. both developed and developing. even though the older powers are likely to remain global leaders out to 2020. but this basic growth trajectory has powerful momentum behind it. The growing two-way flow of high-tech brain power between the developing world and the West. By having the fastest-growing consumer markets. But the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” will widen unless the “have-not” countries pursue policies that support application of new technologies— such as good governance. and others as evidence of a relative decline. though it will remain in 2020 the most important single country across all the dimensions of power. Those countries that pursue such policies could leapfrog stages of development. some now in the “First World” may see the closing gap with China. it is projected to be about 80 percent larger than it was in 2000. the increasing size of the information computer-literate work force in some developing countries.
globalization will take on an increasingly non-Western character. but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies. information and materials technology could further bolster China and India’s prospects. Venezuela. The Internet in particular will spur 12 .• The expected next revolution in high technology involving the convergence of nano-. By 2020. An expanding global economy will increase demand for many raw materials. encompassing the current. an increasing preference for natural gas may reinforce regional relationships—such as with Russia or North Africa—given the interdependence of pipeline delivery. bio-. complicating the ability of states to govern. and Europe might collectively continue to dominate international political and financial institutions. or Brazil. with a greater share provided by petroleum. Total energy consumed probably will rise by about 50 percent in the next two decades compared to a 34 percent expansion from 1980-2000. and those operating in the global arena will be more diverse. Europe risks slipping behind Asia in some of these technologies. will place enormous new strains on governments. Most experts assess that with substantial investment in new capacity. overall energy supplies will be sufficient to meet global demands. Japan. is among the key uncertainties. will be increasingly outside the control of any one state and will be key agents of change in dispersing technology widely. more Asian and less Western in orientation. and other developing countries’ growing energy needs suggest a growing preoccupation with energy. large multinationals. and promoting economic progress in the developing world. both in size and origin. although it must increasingly compete with Asia to retain its edge and may lose significant ground in some sectors. replacing its current association with Americanization. India. Their ranks will include a growing number based in such countries as China. For Europe. shaping their foreign policies. Growing connectivity will be accompanied by the proliferation of virtual communities of interest. many of the areas—the Caspian Sea. globalization could be equated in the popular mind with a rising Asia. Thus sharper demand-driven competition for resources. But on the supply side. While North America. and West Africa—that are being counted on to provide increased output involve substantial political or economic risk. Such corporations. especially information technologies. Traditional suppliers in the Middle East are also increasingly unstable. perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. New Challenges to Governance The nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order. Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders in a number of key fields. More firms will become global. India. The United States is still in a position to retain its overall lead. • • China. further integrating the world economy. such as oil.
and WMD proliferation. Yet democratization and greater pluralism could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes. A combination of factors—youth bulges in many Arab states. and the Islamization of such institutions as trade unions.the creation of even more global movements. Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. and increasingly from Southeast Asia into the northern regions—more countries will be multi-ethnic and will face the challenge of integrating migrants into their societies while respecting their ethnic and religious identities. some of the institutions that are charged with managing global problems may be overwhelmed by them. political Islam will continue to appeal to Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien and hostile culture. the influence of religious education. and political parties—will ensure that political Islam remains a major force. but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop. Chinese leaders will face a dilemma over how much to accommodate pluralistic pressures to relax political controls or risk a popular backlash if they do not. religious identities provide followers with a ready-made community that serves as a “social safety net” in times of need—particularly important to migrants.” which could involve elections at the local level and a consultative mechanism on the national level. With migration on the increase in several places around the world—from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe. which may emerge as a robust force in international affairs. poor economic prospects. rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. Beijing may pursue an “Asian way of democracy. political Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020. some of which never really embraced democracy. • Outside the Middle East. organized crime. The so-called “third wave” of democratization may be partially reversed by 2020—particularly among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia. In a rapidly globalizing world experiencing population shifts. perhaps with the Communist Party retaining control over the central government. Such post-World War II creations as the United Nations and the 13 . nongovernmental organizations. Part of the pressure on governance will come from new forms of identity politics centered on religious convictions. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize. Regionally based institutions will be particularly challenged to meet the complex transnational threats posed by terrorism. In particular. Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. With the international system itself undergoing profound flux.
competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations. how flexible labor markets become. risk escalating into regional conflicts. globalization will profoundly shake up the status quo—generating enormous economic. Such territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (such as al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia). Some internal conflicts. with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control.international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they adjust to the profound changes taking place in the global system. religious extremism. cultural. and whether overall economic growth is sufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers. At their most extreme. The number of internal conflicts is down significantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s when the breakup of the Soviet Union and Communist regimes in Central Europe allowed suppressed ethnic and nationalistic strife to flare. unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars. hundreds of millions of working-age adults will become available for employment in what is evolving into a more integrated world labor market. The growing dependence on global financial and trade networks will help deter interstate 14 . Pervasive Insecurity We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity—which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats—by 2020. and youth bulges will align to create a perfect storm for internal conflict in certain regions. the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states means that such conflicts will continue to occur. The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular. particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries. • Weak governments. India. • This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive. internal conflicts can result in failing or failed states. With the gradual integration of China. bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. including the rise of new powers. as well as the two-bloc standoff during the Cold War. The rigidities of alliance systems before World War I and during the interwar period. and consequently political convulsions. lagging economies. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond. Even as most of the world gets richer. and other emerging countries into the global economy. virtually assured that small conflicts would be quickly generalized. The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century. Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the antiglobalization movement. Although a leveling off point has been reached where we can expect fewer such conflicts than during the last decade.
advances in modern weaponry—longer ranges. the assistance of proliferators will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons. and southern Thailand. and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements. the rise of nationalism in some states. and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to al-Qa’ida will merge with local separatist movements. such as Palestine. and more destructive conventional munitions—create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force. will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized. precision delivery. the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East. The open demonstration of nuclear capabilities by any state would further discredit the current nonproliferation regime. where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong. Countries without nuclear weapons—especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia—might decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals are doing so. Information technology. cause a possible shift in the balance of power. Central Asia and Western Europe. We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups. Informal networks of charitable foundations. Transmuting International Terrorism The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.e. 1 Hawalas constitute an informal banking system. Training materials.conflict but does not eliminate the possibility. the consequences would be significant. targeting guidance. and has emerged in response to government repression. and learning. 15 . and fund-raising will become virtual (i. and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. allowing for instant connectivity. and lethality of their delivery systems as well as develop capabilities to penetrate missile defenses. communication. weapons know-how. and the raw emotions and tensions on both sides of some issues—for example. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions. accuracy. and increase the risk of conflicts escalating into nuclear ones. hawalas1. Moreover. This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles. Moreover. Kashmir.. Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers. Current nuclear weapons states will continue to improve the survivability of their deterrent forces and almost certainly will improve the reliability. corruption. evolving into an eclectic array of groups. Iraq. including Southeast Asia. the Taiwan Strait or India/Pakistan issues—could lead to miscalculation. Chechnya. cells. and ineffectiveness. Mindanao. online). Facilitated by global communications. madrassas.
Strong terrorist interest in acquiring chemical. These scenarios are not meant as actual forecasts. incorporating new twists and constantly adapting to counterterrorist efforts. We also expect that terrorists will attempt cyber attacks to disrupt critical information networks and. from seriously challenging the nation-state system to establishing a more robust and inclusive globalization. led by China and India. the scope. particularly in contrast to the relative stasis of the Cold War era. biological. depending on how trends interweave and play out: • Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth. Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order.. 16 . we see several ways in which major global changes could take shape in the next 15 years. The scenarios are not mutually exclusive: we may see two or three of these scenarios unfold in some combination or a wide range of other scenarios. over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well. to cause physical damage to information systems. less likely. Our greatest concern is that terrorists might acquire biological agents or. either of which could cause mass casualties. even more likely.e. • • • Of course. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they use but rather in their operational concepts—i. Possible Futures In this era of great flux. Bioterrorism appears particularly suited to the smaller. but they describe possible worlds upon whose threshold we may be entering. or support arrangements for attacks. Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks. these scenarios illustrate just a few of the possible futures that may develop over the next 15 years. design.Terrorist attacks will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons. A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system. radiological and nuclear weapons increases the risk of a major terrorist attack involving WMD. better-informed groups. but the wide range of possibilities we can imagine suggests that this period will be characterized by increased flux. a nuclear device. In the body of this paper we develop these concepts in four fictional scenarios which were extrapolated from the key trends we discuss in this report. possibly introducing an Orwellian world.
The success of the US-led counterterrorism campaign will hinge on the capabilities and resolve of individual countries to fight terrorism on their own soil. Where US-Asia relations lead will result as much or more from what the Asians work out among themselves as any action by Washington. rather than NATO. The possession of chemical. broader economic opportunities. Counterterrorism efforts in the years ahead—against a more diverse set of terrorists who are connected more by ideology than by geography—will be a more elusive challenge than focusing on a centralized organization such as al-Qa’ida. One could envisage a range of possibilities from the US enhancing its role as balancer between contending forces to Washington being seen as increasingly irrelevant. The US economy will become more vulnerable to fluctuations in the fortunes of others as global commercial networking deepens. technological. Although the challenges ahead will be daunting. Some trends we probably can bank on include dramatically altered alliances and relationships with Europe and Asia. While no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. 17 . and/or nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea and the possible acquisition of such weapons by others by 2020 also increase the potential cost of any military action by the US against them or their allies. Asia. US dependence on foreign oil supplies also makes it more vulnerable as the competition for secure access grows and the risks of supply side disruptions increase. and the role which Europeans shape for themselves on the world stage is most likely to be projected through it. and military—that no other state will match by 2020. The development of more open political systems and representation. and empowerment of Muslim reformers would be viewed positively by the broad Muslim communities who do not support the radical agenda of Islamic extremists. will increasingly become the primary institution for Europe. political. the Middle East. Dealing with the US-Asia relationship may arguably be more challenging for Washington because of the greater flux resulting from the rise of two world-class economic and political giants yet to be fully integrated into the international order.Policy Implications The role of the United States will be an important shaper of the international order in 2020. playing a pivotal role across the broad range of issues—economic. and others absent a single overarching threat on which to build consensus. both of which formed the bedrock of US power in the post-World War II period. The EU. Washington may be increasingly confronted with the challenge of managing—at an acceptable cost to itself—relations with Europe. biological. more countries will be in a position to make the United States pay a heavy price for any military action they oppose. A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. the United States will retain enormous advantages.
Over the next 15 years the increasing centrality of ethical issues. privacy. have the potential to divide worldwide publics and challenge US leadership. Some of the current anti-Americanism is likely to lessen as globalization takes on more of a nonWestern face. the younger generation of leaders—unlike during the post-World War II period—has no personal recollection of the United States as its “liberator” and is more likely to diverge with Washington’s thinking on a range of issues. The United States probably will continue to be called on to help manage such conflicts as Palestine. Taiwan. Despite likely high-tech breakthroughs that will make it easier to track and detect terrorists at work. The United States increasingly will have to battle world public opinion. These issues include the environment and climate change. In helping to map out the global future. particularly in shaping a new international order that integrates disparate regions and reconciles divergent interests. old and new.Even if the numbers of extremists dwindle. the terrorist threat is likely to remain. international law regulating conflict. and Kashmir to ensure they do not get out of hand if a peace settlement cannot be reached. North Korea. and the role of multilateral institutions. The rapid dispersion of biological and other lethal forms of technology increases the potential for an individual not affiliated with any terrorist group to be able to wreak widespread loss of life. however. which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War. human rights. 18 . At the same time. However. cloning and biotechnology. the scenarios and trends we analyze in the paper suggest the possibility of harnessing the power of the new players in contributing to global security and relieving the US of some of the burden. the United States will have many opportunities to extend its advantages. the attacker will have an easier job than the defender because the defender must prepare against a large array of possibilities.
We also consulted the Eurasia Group. and Ged Davis. and Chile. Princeton University historian Harold James gave the keynote address. who facilitated several of our sessions and informed our thinking on methodologies. the changing nature of warfare. including new technologies. which included hundreds of foreign participants. Ged Davis led this effort for many years. We augmented these discussions with conferences and workshops that took a more indepth view of specific issues of interest.Methodology To launch the NIC 2020 Project. climate change and many others (see box on page 20 for a complete list of the conferences). Canada. • The UN Millennium Project—an independent body that advises the UN on strategies for achieving the Millennium development goals—provided invaluable data on crosscutting issues. Singapore. government officials. members of nongovernmental organizations and other institutions—who could speak authoritatively on the key drivers of change and conceptualize broad regional themes. President. Georgetown and now Princeton Professor John Ikenberry. former head of Shell International’s scenarios project2—to discuss their most recent work and the methodologies they employed to think about the future. We invited three leading “futurists”—Ted Gordon of the UN’s Millennium Project. in November 2003 we brought together some 25 leading outside experts from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds to engage in a broad-gauged discussion with Intelligence Community analysts. business people. Jim Dewar. Participants explored key trends that were presented by experts and then developed alternative scenarios for how the trends might play out over the next 15 years. Besides convening a meeting of counterparts in the UK. and the Stimson Center. Oxford Analytica. In addition to the conferences held overseas. identity politics. as well as on methodologies and approaches for thinking about the future. Director of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future of the Human Condition. DC area on India. CENTRA Technologies. Our regional experts also contributed valuable insights on how the rest of the world views the United States. Global Scenarios.” We surveyed and studied various methodologies (see box on page 22) and reviewed a number of recent “futures” studies. we held a conference in the Washington. Australia. 19 . offering lessons from prior periods of “globalization. And we consulted numerous organizations and individuals on the substantive aspects of this study. we organized six regional conferences in countries on four continents—one in the United Kingdom. who organized several seminars of academic experts over the course of more than a • 2 Shell International Limited has for decades used scenarios to identify business risks and opportunities. Other individual scholars we consulted included Michael F. South Africa. gender issues. Oppenheimer. two in Hungary—to solicit the views of foreign experts from a variety of backgrounds—academics. and New Zealand to learn their thinking.
DC (Spring-Summer. DC (December 2003) African Experts’ Roundtable—Washington. Philip Jenkins. Elke Matthews. who provided us with important perspectives on demographic issues. Senior Adviser on Technology Policy and Director of the Biotechnology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. whose related statistical and scenario work is featured on our Web site. Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy. UK (March 2004) Africa NIC 2020 Workshop—Johannesburg. and Jeffrey Herbst. University of Denver. Hungary (April 2004) Europe NIC 2020 Workshop—Budapest. Nicholas Eberstadt. DC. 2004) Information and Communications. Enid Schoettle. DC (August 2004) Business Leader Roundtable Discussion—CIA Headquarters (September 2004) India and Geopolitics in 2020–Rosslyn. Virginia (September 2004) Stimson Center-sponsored roundtables on Scenarios—Washington. NIC 2020 Project Conferences and Workshops Presentation by Joint Doctrine and Concepts Center (MoD/UK)—CIA Headquarters (September 2003) Conference on Anti-Americanism—Wye Plantation (October 2003) Inaugural NIC 2020 Project Conference—Washington. Department of Politics. Graduate School of International Studies. Wealth. an independent contractor who conducted substantial open-source research. Pennsylvania State University. who was instrumental in our analysis of issues pertaining to Africa. Global Power. Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies. DC (March 2004) Russia and Eurasia NIC 2020 Workshop—Budapest. Hungary (April 2004) Global Identity Roundtable Discussion—CIA Headquarters (May 2004) Asia NIC 2020 Workshop—Singapore (May 2004) Conference on The Changing Nature of Warfare—Center for Naval Analysis (May 2004) Latin America NIC 2020 Workshop—Santiago. Technological and Social Cohesion and the Nation-State— Washington. American Enterprise Institute. who provided invaluable insights on global trends pertaining to religion. Anne Solomon. DC (September 2004) Wrap-Up NIC 2020 Project Workshop—Virginia (October 2004) Consultation on Preliminary NIC 2020 Draft with UK experts and the International Institute of Strategic Studies—London. who was one of the architects of Global Trends 2015. England (July 2004) Women in 2020—Washington. and Conflict—Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (June 2004) Climate Change—University of Maryland (June 2004) NSA Tech 2020—Baltimore.year to examine various aspects of US preeminence and critique preliminary drafts of the report. Princeton University. Professor Barry B. Chair. Hughes. Maryland (June 2004) Conference on Muslims in Europe—Oxford. DC (November 2003) Professor Ikenberry’s series of International Relations Roundtables—Georgetown University (November 2003-November 2004) Joint US-Commonwealth Intelligence Officials’ Conference —Washington. DC (January 2004) Middle East NIC 2020 Workshop—Wilton Park. South Africa (March 2004) Global Evolution of Dual-Use Biotechnology—Washington. Chile (June 2004) Technological Frontiers. who organized several stimulating conferences on S&T topics. England (October 2004) 20 .
• The following organizations arranged the regional conferences for the project: Wilton Park. These key findings were set aside as the raw material for development of the global scenarios. Bard College.” and then developed our own unique approach. they typically present a one-dimensional view of how the future might unfold and tend to focus attention exclusively on the “prediction. Central European University. (see box on page 22). the UK Ministry of Defense. To jumpstart the global scenario development process. combining trend analysis and scenarios. Nueva Mayoria. We studied extensively key futures work developed in the public and private sectors that employed scenario techniques. think tanks. Scenarios help decisionmakers to break through conventional thinking and basic assumptions so that a broader range of possibilities can be considered—including new risks and opportunities. which we believe is the case for the next 15 years. 21 . We analyzed the findings from the regional workshops. who provided us with useful data and shared their ideas about global trends. We also want to thank our colleagues in the US Intelligence Community. The six international workshops generated an enormous amount of data and analysis on the key drivers that are likely to lead to regional change in the 2020 timeframe. and looked at the regional product in its totality to identify salient cross-regional trends. identified the “best practices. the South African Institute for International Affairs. SSG examined the product of the international workshops and explored fledgling scenarios for plausibility and policy relevance.” Scenarios offer a more dynamic view of possible futures and focus attention on the underlying interactions that may have particular policy significance. the NIC 2020 Project staff created a Scenario Steering Group (SSG)—a small aggregation of respected members of the policy community. and analysts from within the Intelligence Community—to examine summaries of the data collected and consider scenario concepts that take into account the interaction between key drivers of global change. Timothy Sharp and Professor Ewan Anderson of Sharp Global Solutions Ltd arranged a conference in London of UK experts to critique a preliminary draft of the report. highlighted key regional trends that had global implications. • Scenario Development Process While straight-line projections are useful in establishing a baseline and positing a mainline scenario. and Shell International. Adolfo Ibañez University. Ltd. drafted papers. Papers that influenced our work include those produced by Goldman Sachs. and initiated follow-up roundtable discussions and conferences. and the Asia Society. The NIC 2020 Project staff conducted additional research. They are especially useful in thinking about the future during times of great uncertainty.
22 . Toffler Associates contributed ideas at several points. We used a similar approach. The RAND Corporation—as part of a parallel. undertook an ambitious attempt to develop a coherent view of how the world might develop over the next 30 years in ways that could alter the UK’s security. Alvin and Heidi Toffler participated in our capstone conference. identifying applications that will transform the future. including in association with the NSA Tech 2020 project (see below). The project—Strategic Trends—was designed to assist the MOD in gaining a strategic understanding of future threats. The National Security Agency’s project—Tech 2020—also helped identify key technology convergences expected to impact society between now and 2020. and opportunities. including the use of drivers. and the application of scenario work to the private sector. challenges. Following initial research. formerly the leader of Shell International’s scenariobuilding effort. and providing thought-provoking. risks. Chairman. We have incorporated valuable insights from this project and are grateful to NSA for stimulating a rewarding Intelligence Community dialogue on future trends. Global Business Network and author of Inevitable Surprises. Shell builds global scenarios every three years to help its leaders make better decisions. NIC-sponsored effort to update its 2001 monograph The Global Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with IT by 2015—provided substantive guidance by delineating technology trends and their interaction. Shell’s team spends about a year conducting interviews and holding workshops to develop and finalize the scenarios. affirmed our intent to develop scenarios for policymakers. the interpretation of insights across disciplines.Scenario and Futures Work That Influenced Our Thinking Our consultations with Ged Davis. an integral part of the UK Ministry of Defense. seeking throughout the process to ensure a balance between unconventional thinking and plausibility. In addition. technology-driven scenario concepts. commenting extensively on drafts. produced by the UK Defense Evaluation and Research Agency. Peter Schwartz. Drs. Meta-Analysis of Published Material on Drivers and Trends. We also benefited from consultations with other organizations that do futures work: The Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre. provided us with invaluable insights on the nature of surprise. sharing their insights on understanding the future based on their vast experience in the field. reviewed over 50 futures studies.
23 . It contained interactive tools to keep our foreign and domestic experts engaged and created “handson” computer simulations that allowed novice and expert alike to develop their own scenarios. and ultimately narrow the number of scenarios included in the final publication to four. worldwide dialogue about the future. The scenarios depicted in this publication were selected for their relevance to policymakers and because they cause us to question key assumptions about the future—but they do not attempt to predict it. Nor are they mutually exclusive. discuss the merits and weaknesses of each. eight global scenarios that held particular promise were developed. 3 To access these new innovations log on to the NIC website: www.3 Much of this supporting material involving the Empirical Web-boxes Scenario capability has now been transferred to the open.After scenario concepts were explored. password-protected Web site to serve as a repository for discussion papers and workshop summaries. unclassified NIC Web site with publication of this report.gov/nic. Interactive Tools Significantly. Its global sweep and scope required that we engage in a continuing. With the help of CENTRA Technologies. critiqued. The NIC then held a wrap-up workshop with a broader group of experts to examine the eight scenarios. The site also provided a link to massive quantities of basic data for reference and analysis. we created an interactive.cia. the NIC 2020 Project also employs information technology and analytic tools unavailable in earlier NIC efforts. and debated within the SSG and with other groups that the NIC engaged.
Emerging powers. Increased pressures on international institutions. Lingering social inequalities. • • • • • • • As with previous upheavals. the seeds of major change have been laid in the trends apparent today. and in the intervening years the United States will face major international challenges that differ significantly from those we face today. A more pervasive sense of insecurity. In addition to the pivotal role of the United States. New challenges to governance. As a result. Other significant characteristics include: • • • • The contradictions of globalization. Underlying the broad characteristics listed above are a number of specific trends that overlap and play off each other: • The expanding global economy. • • The accelerating pace of scientific change and the dispersion of dualuse technologies. and advance positive trends. multinational corporations. A spreading radical Islamic ideology. Rising powers: the changing geopolitical landscape.Introduction The international order is in the midst of profound change: at no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux as they have during the past decade. such as greater insecurity. the world of 2020 will differ markedly from the world of 2004. The global aging phenomenon. As we survey the next 15 years. 25 . the role of the United States will be an important variable in how the world is shaped. Halting democratization. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and others can mitigate distinctly negative trends. influencing the path that states and nonstate actors choose to follow. The very magnitude and speed of change resulting from a globalizing world—regardless of its precise character—will be a defining feature of the world out to 2020. The potential for catastrophic terrorism. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. international bodies including international organizations.
the collapse of the Soviet Union. could be substantially slowed or even reversed. raise world living standards. At the same time.The Contradictions of Globalization Whereas in Global Trends 2015 we viewed globalization—growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information. improvements in national governance. are likely to be irreversible. too. which has transformed politics almost everywhere. and people throughout the world—as among an array of key drivers. “[By 2020] globalization is likely to take on much more of a ‘nonWestern’ face…” The reach of globalization was substantially broadened during the last 20 years by Chinese and Indian economic liberalization. although the pace of global economic expansion may ebb and flow. governments would find difficult to expunge. capital. cultural. Interdependence has widened the effective reach of multinational business. is a phenomenon that even repressive Yet the process of globalization. Real-time communication. we now view it more as a “mega-trend”—a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all of the other major trends in the world of 2020. and substantially deepen global interdependence. The freer flow of people across national borders will continue to face social and political obstacles even when there is a pressing need for migrant workers. and the reduction of conflicts.’” 27 . Some features that we associate with the globalization of the 1990s—such as economic and political liberalization—are prone to “fits and starts” and probably will depend on progress in multilateral negotiations. and the worldwide information technology revolution. such as the growing global inter-connectedness stemming from the information technology revolution. technology. powerful as it is. Certain aspects of globalization. it will profoundly shake up the status quo almost everywhere—generating enormous economic. • It will be difficult. Through the next 15 years. to turn off the phenomenon of entrenched economic interdependence. enabling smaller firms as well as large multinationals to market across borders and bringing heretofore nontraded services into the international arena. “India and China probably will be among the economic heavyweights or ‘haves. services. it will sustain world economic growth. goods. just as the era of globalization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was reversed by catastrophic war and global depression. and consequently political convulsions.
and Chinese kung-fu movies and Bollywood song-and-dance epics are viewed throughout Asia. A basket of reserve currencies including the yen. possibly spurring internal and regional migrations. Asians have already begun to reduce the percentage of students who travel to Europe and North America with Japan and—most striking—China becoming educational magnets. Korean pop singers are already the rage in Japan. renminbi. Even Hollywood has begun to reflect these Asian influences—an effect that is likely to accelerate through 2020. or collectively three-quarters of global reserves—but the percentage held in dollars will fall. 28 . $190 billion in Korea. which should boost their high performance sectors. To the degree that these vast internal migrations spill over national borders—currently. especially by China. and $120 billion in India. Asia will alter the rules of the globalizing process. attaching fewer strings on currency swaps and giving Asian decision-makers more leeway from the “Washington macro-economic consensus. perhaps. including New York and London. Either way it will have a large impact. rising Asia may still accumulate large currency reserves—currently $850 billion in Japan. • As governments devote more resources to basic research and development. will have enormous effects. Increased labor force participation in the global economy. rising Asia will continue to attract applied technology from around the world. Asian finance ministers have considered establishing an Asian monetary fund that would operate along different lines from IMF.” • In terms of capital flows. more firms becoming world-class multinationals. only a miniscule fraction of China’s 100 million internal migrants end up abroad—they could have major repercussions for other regions. Interest-rate decisions taken by Asian central bankers will impact other global financial markets. more Asian cultural identity is likely to be rapidly packaged and distributed as incomes rise and communications networks spread. India. including cutting-edge technology. $500 billion in China. including Europe and North America. giving it less of a “Made in the USA” character and more of an Asian look and feel. determining the relative size of the world’s greatest new “megacities” and. A new.What Would An Asian Face on Globalization Look Like? Rising Asia will continue to reshape globalization. and possibly rupee probably will become standard practice. By having the fastest-growing consumer markets. rather than adopting those promoted by Western nations or international standards bodies. We already anticipate (as stated in the text) that the Asian giants may use the power of their markets to set industry standards. The international intellectual property rights regime will be profoundly molded by IPR regulatory and law enforcement practices in East and South Asia. At the same time. act as a key variable for political stability/instability for decades to come. An expanded Asian-centric cultural identity may be the most profound effect of a rising Asia. and Indonesia. and greater S&T stature. Japanese anime have many fans in China. and the returns from Asian stock markets are likely to become an increasing global benchmark for portfolio managers. Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues.
The conflation of globalization with US values has in turn fueled anti-Americanism in some parts of the world. New or expanding corporations from countries lifted up by globalization will make their presence felt globally through trade and investments abroad. Able to disperse technology widely and promote economic progress in the developing world. While today’s most advanced nations—especially the United States—will remain important forces driving capital. the benefits of globalization won’t be global. An Expanding and Integrating Global Economy The world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000 and average per capita income to be roughly 50 percent higher. and a numerically large middle class will be created for the first time in some formerly poor countries. Even by 2020. technology and goods. Countries that have benefited and are now in position to weigh in will seek more power in international bodies and greater influence on the “rules of the game. “…the world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000. many foreign experts have noted that while popular opinion in their countries favors the 29 material benefits of globalization. Indeed. • Most of the increase in world population and consumer demand through 2020 will take place in today’s developing nations—especially China. corporations already are seeking to be “good citizens” by allowing the retention of non-Western practices in the workplaces in which they operate. The social structures in • • • • . Over the next 15 years. technologically. however. India. and socially—and those underdeveloped nations or pockets within nations that are left behind. the character of globalization probably will change just as capitalism changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. and average per capita income to be roughly 50 percent higher. citizens are opposed to its perceived “Americanization. Corporations are in the position to make globalization more palatable to people concerned about preserving unique cultures.” which they see as threatening to their cultural and religious values.” Currently.Moreover.” In our interactions. about two-thirds of the world’s population live in countries that are connected to the global economy. globalization is likely to take on much more of a “non-Western face” over the next 15 years. gaps will widen between those countries benefiting from globalization—economically. and Indonesia—and multinational companies from today’s advanced nations will adapt their “profiles” and business practices to the demands of these cultures. Large parts of the world will enjoy unprecedented prosperity. we see the next 15 years as a period in which the perceptions of the contradictions and uncertainties of a globalized world come even more to the fore than is the case today.
. Globalization would be endangered if the death toll rose into the millions in several major countries and the spread of the disease put a halt to global travel and trade during an extended period. perhaps. Other developments that could stimulate similar restrictive policies include a popular backlash against globalization prompted. Given its enormous population— and assuming a reasonable degree of real currency appreciation—the dollar value of China’s gross national product (GNP) may be the second largest in the world by 2020. the response to SARS showed that international surveillance and control mechanisms are becoming more adept at containing diseases. such as the 1918–1919 influenza virus that killed an estimated 20 million worldwide. For similar reasons. those developing countries will be transformed as growth creates a greater middle class. Most forecasts to 2020 and beyond continue to show higher annual growth for developing countries than for high-income ones. China. Such a pandemic in megacities of the developing world with poor health-care systems—in SubSaharan Africa. by white collar rejection of outsourcing in the wealthy countries and/or resistance in poor countries whose peoples saw themselves as victims of globalization. and new developments in biotechnologies hold the promise of continued improvement. whose aging work forces may inhibit their growth. for more traditionally poor countries to be pulled closer into the globalization circle. Some experts believe it is only a matter of time before a new pandemic appears. which we regard as improbable. The economies of other developing countries. Bangladesh or Pakistan—would be devastating and could spread rapidly throughout the world. goods. On the positive side of the ledger. Short of a major global conflict. prompting governments to expend enormous resources on overwhelmed health sectors. Border controls and restrictions on technology exchanges would increase economic transaction costs and hinder innovation and economic growth. another large-scale development that we believe could stop globalization would be a pandemic. and technology that stalled economic growth. so long as the expansion continues. other catastrophic developments. powerful as it is. could slow its speed. could be substantially slowed or even stopped. India. However. Countries such as China and India 30 will be in a position to achieve higher economic growth than Europe and Japan. there is the potential. Such a situation could come about in response to terrorist attacks killing tens or even hundreds of thousands in several US cities or in Europe or to widespread cyber attacks on information technology.What Could Derail Globalization? The process of globalization. A slow-down could result from a pervasive sense of economic and physical insecurity that led governments to put controls on the flow of capital. the value of India’s output could match that of a large European country. people. such as terrorist attacks. Over a long time frame.
October 2003. world-class sectors. . however. Many emerging markets—such as Mexico in the mid-1990s and Asian countries in the late 1990s—suffered negative effects from the abrupt reversals of capital movements. and economic turbulence is increasingly likely to spill over and upset broader international relations. their capital stocks will be less sophisticated. South Korea. could surpass all but the largest European economies by 2020.4 • Even with all their dynamic growth. They will have some dynamic. and Japan. Fast-developing countries have historically suffered sudden setbacks. Asia’s “giants” and others are not likely to compare qualitatively to the economies of the US or even some of the other rich countries.such as Brazil and Indonesia. Sustained high-growth rates have historical precedents. China already has had about two decades of 7 percent and higher growth rates. and their financial systems are likely to be less efficient than those of other wealthy countries. and Taiwan have managed in the past to achieve annual rates averaging around 10 percent for a long period. Continued Economic Turbulence. and China and India may 31 4 Dreaming with the BRICS. Goldman Sachs study. but more of their populations will work on farms.
“Competitive pressures will force companies based in the advanced economies to ‘outsource’ many blue.encounter similar problems.and white-collar jobs. trade.” With the gradual integration of China. competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations.” necessitate professional retooling. a more interrelated world labor 32 • Where these labor market pressures lead will depend on how political leaders and . employment. Competition from these workers will increase job “churning. hundreds of millions of working-age adults will join what is becoming. and it is unclear whether current international financial mechanisms would be in a position to forestall wider economic disruption. and restrain wage growth in some occupations. through trade and investment flows. and wages will be transformed. World patterns of production. • This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive. India. and other developing countries into the global economy. market. The scale of the potential reversals would be unprecedented.
for example. will likely exceed the supply of workers with those specific skills in the advanced economies. • Even if. • In India. • • Mobility and Laggards. per capita incomes in most countries will not compare to those of Western nations by 2020. which is already evident. there are now estimated to be some 300 million middle-income earners making $2. Moreover. As long as sufficiently robust economic growth and labor market flexibility are sustained. • The large number of new service sector jobs that will be created in India and elsewhere in the developing world. thus rapidly rising income levels for a growing middle class will combine to mean a huge consumption explosion. although much of the west and south may have a large middle class by 2020. Both the number of middle earners and their income levels are likely to rise rapidly. China’s middle class could make up as much as 40 percent of its population by 2020—double what it is Widening income and regional disparities will not be incompatible with a growing middle class and increasing overall wealth. however.000 annual income is considered sufficient to spur car purchases in Asia. Uttar Pradesh. In India.000-$4.policymakers respond. Experts estimate it could take China another 30 years beyond 2020 for per capita incomes to reach current rates in developed economies. such resources could unleash widespread protectionist sentiments. And per capita income for China’s middle class would be substantially less than equivalents in the West.000 a year. Job turnover in advanced economies will continue to be driven more by technological change and the vicissitudes of domestic rather than international competition. The region currently has the largest 33 . that SubSaharan Africa will be far behind even under the most optimistic scenario. for example. as one study estimates. and the proportion of those in the middle stratum is likely to be significantly less than is the case for today’s developed nations. now—it would be still well below the 60 percent level for the US. • Scenarios developed by the World Bank indicate. intense international competition is unlikely to cause net job “loss” in the advanced economies. a number of regions such as Bihar. Even the most optimistic forecasts admit that economic growth fueled by globalization will leave many countries in poverty over the next 15 years. Although the living standards of many people in developing and underdeveloped countries will rise over the next 15 years. There will continue to be large numbers of poor even in the rapidly emerging economies. and Orissa will remain underdeveloped. but their incomes will continue to be substantially below averages in the US and other rich countries even by 2020. However. a $3. Against the backdrop of a global economic recession. countries not connected to the world economy will continue to suffer.
” Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders in a number of key fields. the Middle East. The gulf between “haves” and “have-nots” may widen as the greatest benefits of globalization accrue to countries and groups that can access and 34 “…the greatest benefits of globalization will accrue to countries and groups that can access and adopt new technologies. New technology applications will foster dramatic improvements in human knowledge and individual well-being. Moreover. the increasing size of the technologically literate workforce in some developing countries. and even social and political relationships. improve security. commercial. global diffusion of technology will continue. materials. biological. • Among the drivers of the growing availability of technology will be the growing two-way flow of high-tech brain power between developing countries and Western countries.share of people living on less than $1 per day. Such interactions of these technology trends— coupled with agile manufacturing methods and equipment as well as energy. Eurasia. If the growing problem of abject poverty and bad governance in troubled states in Sub-Saharan Africa. The United States is still in a position to retain its overall lead. Forced migration also is likely to be an important dimension of any downward spiral. and transportation technologies—will help China’s and India’s prospects for joining the “First World. applications that improve food and potable water production. how. and Latin America persists. and pandemic disease. Europe risks slipping behind Asia in creating some of these technologies. Such materials will provide new knowledge about environment. although the stepped-up technology revolution will not benefit everyone equally. Materials enabled with nanotechnology’s sensors and facilitated by information technology will produce myriad devices that will enhance health and alter business practices and models. To Adaptive Nations Go Technology ‘s Spoils. these areas will become more fertile grounds for terrorism. although it must increasingly compete with Asia and may lose significant ground in some sectors. future technology trends will be marked not only by accelerating advancements in individual technologies but also by a force-multiplying convergence of the technologies— information. organized crime.” The Technology Revolution The trend toward rapid. and expansion of wireless communications and language translation technologies that will facilitate transnational business. water. and reduce privacy. mitigate some common diseases and stretch lifespans. and nanotechnologies—that have the potential to revolutionize all dimensions of life. and efforts by multinational corporations to diversify their hightech operations. Such benefits include medical breakthroughs that begin to cure or . and at what cost to intervene. The international community is likely to face choices about whether.
even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific. and biometric devices—may become an increasingly important factor in international trade policy and foreign relations. Those that employ such policies can leapfrog stages of development. joint ventures. universal education. biological material research. control. information security. and for molding privacy. Rapid technological advances outside the United States could enable other countries to set the rules for design. Nations that remain behind in adopting technologies are likely to be those that have failed to pursue policies that support application of new technologies—such as good governance. be able to shape the implementation of some technologies and step on the intellectual property rights of others. there will be increasing pressure from a humanitarian and moral perspective to “release” the property rights “for the good of mankind. skipping over phases that other high-tech leaders such as the United States and Europe had to traverse in order to advance. and intellectual property rights (IPR). because of the purchasing power of their huge markets. data privacy. Additionally. Indeed. and implementation. and prohibition of sensitive technologies. such as sensors. as many of the expected advancements in technology are anticipated to be in medicine. research. and other infrastructure investments. Yet.adopt new technologies. cheap technologies to fuel—although at a slower rate—their own development. • As nations like China and India surge forward in funding critical science and engineering education. increasingly being developed for a range of applications in both everyday. concealable sensors. computing.” Nations also will face serious challenges in oversight. international IPR enforcement is on course for dramatic change. With the same technology. standards. globalized markets and the growing proportion of private sector capital in basic R&D will undermine nation-state efforts to keep tabs on sensitive technologies. and market reforms—and not solely because they are poor. Moreover. Countries like China and India will. • Indeed. globally available technologies—whether the technologies are acquired through a country’s own basic research or from technology leaders. China and India are well positioned to achieve such breakthroughs. The attractiveness of these large markets will tempt multinational firms to overlook IPR indiscretions that only minimally affect their bottom lines. communication. • Questions concerning a country’s ethical practices in the technology realm—such as with genetically modified foods. they will make considerable strides in manufacturing and marketing a full range of technology applications— from software and pharmaceuticals to wireless sensors and smart-materials products. and materials. commercial settings and in critical military applications the monitoring and control of the export of technological components will become more difficult. 35 . a nation’s level of technological achievement generally will be defined in terms of its investment in integrating and applying the new.
Lastly. • Possible breakthroughs in biomedicine such as an antiviral barrier will reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. stopping the progress of offensive BW programs will become increasingly difficult. 36 . An attacker would appear to have an easier job—because of the large array of possibilities available—than the defender. animal. helping to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis in SubSaharan Africa and diminishing the potentially serious drag on economic growth in developing countries like India and China.Biotechnology: Panacea and Weapon The biotechnological revolution is at a relatively early stage. Over the next 10 to 20 years there is a risk that advances in biotechnology will augment not only defensive measures but also offensive biological warfare (BW) agent development and allow the creation of advanced biological agents designed to target specific systems—human. or crop. even as the dispersion of biotechnology promises a means of improving the quality of life. environmental remediation. while competitive market pressures increasingly will induce firms and research institutions to seek technically capable partners in developing countries. Research will continue to foster important discoveries in innovative medical and public health technologies. who must prepare against them all. and major advances in the biological sciences coupled with information technology will continue to punctuate the 21st century. On the positive side. • However. the number of people who can potentially misuse such information and wreak widespread loss of life will increase. spreading dramatic economic and healthcare enhancements to the neediest areas of the world. stem cell research. certain cognitive abilities. Moreover. biotechnology could be a “leveling” agent between developed and developing nations. More developing countries probably will invest in indigenous biotechnology developments. or anti-social behavior. and related fields. biodefense. some biotechnology techniques that may facilitate major improvements in health also will spur serious ethical and privacy concerns over such matters as comprehensive genetic profiling. as biotechnology advances become more ubiquitous. and the possibility of discovering DNA signatures that indicate predisposition for disease. it also poses a major security concern. As biotechnology information becomes more widely available. Biotechnology research and innovations derived from continued US investments in Homeland Security—such as new therapies that might block a pathogen’s ability to enter the body—may eventually have revolutionary healthcare applications that extend beyond protecting the US from a terrorist attack. agriculture.
significant social welfare disparities within the developing and between developing and OECD countries will remain until 2020. The debilitation and death of millions of people resulting from the AIDS pandemic will have a growing impact on the economies of the hardest-hit countries. Ukraine. Even if effective HIV/AIDS prevention measures are adopted in various countries. the social and economic impact of the millions already infected with the disease will play out over the next 15 years.At the same time.and less-developed nations began to converge markedly. illiteracy rates of people 15 years and older will fall. Brazil. Today in some African countries one in ten children is an orphan. Between 1950 and 1980 life expectancy between the more. China. and the Central Asian states—the disease will continue to spread beyond traditional high-risk groups into the general population. and Russia—are projected to have a lower life expectancy in 2010 than they did in 1990. 5 The OECD. Ethiopia. over 40 countries— including many African countries. 37 . Over the next 15 years. an outgrowth of the Marshall Planera Organization for European Economic Cooperation. Moreover. particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lingering Social Inequalities Even with the potential for technological breakthroughs and the dispersion of new technologies. Central Asian states. As HIV/AIDS spreads. Russia. but they will still be 17 times higher in poor and developing countries than those in OECD5 countries. and the situation is certain to worsen. it has the potential to derail the economic prospects of many up-and-coming economic powers. In “second wave” HIV/AIDS countries—Nigeria. boasts 30 members from among developed and emerging-market nations and active relationships with 70 others around the world. illiteracy rates among women will be almost twice as high as those among men. by US Census Bureau projections. including the most populous. this probably will continue to be the case for many developing countries. India. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. technology will be a source of tension in 2020: from competition over creating and attracting the most critical component of technological advancement—people—to resistance among some cultural or political groups to the perceived privacyrobbing or homogenizing effects of pervasive technology. Studies show that household incomes drop by 50 to 80 percent when key earners become infected. • The rapid rise in adult deaths caused by AIDS has left an unprecedented number of orphans in Africa. which could help reduce inequalities. where more than 20 million are believed to have died from HIV/AIDS since the early 1980s. However. according to UNESCO.
the preference for male children in China has led to an estimated shortfall of 30 million women. For instance. wage gaps and regional disparities will persist. Findings from the July 2004 Global AIDS conference held in Bangkok reveal that the percentage of HIV-infected women is rising on every continent and in every major region in the world except Western Europe and Australia. Yet views are changing among the younger generation. (Continued on next page…) 38 . Young women comprise 75 percent of those between the ages of 15 to 24 who are infected with HIV globally. is likely to expand. In countries such as China and India. and work force equality—in most parts of the world. boys are likely to be given first priority. for example. women face increased risk not only of female infanticide but also of kidnapping and smuggling from surrounding regions for the disproportionately greater number of unattached males.The Status of Women in 2020 By 2020. The feminization of HIV/AIDS is another worrisome trend. In the Middle East. where there is a pervasive “son preference” reinforced by government population control policies. Although women’s share in the global work force will continue to rise. which already earns an estimated $4 billion every year. Thus far. but UN and World Health Organization data suggest that the gender gap will not have been closed even in the developed countries and still will be wide in developing regions. making it the second most profitable criminal activity behind global drug trafficking. Such statistics suggest that the global female trafficking industry. women continue to receive less pay than men. political participation. For example. Certain factors will tend to work against gender equality while others will have a positive impact. the added pressure on infrastructure will mean intensified competition for limited public resources and an increased probability that females will not receive equal treatment. a UN study in 2002 showed that in 27 of 39 countries surveyed—both in OECD and developing countries—women’s wages were 20 to 50 percent less than men’s for work in manufacturing. many younger Muslims recognize the importance of educated wives as potential contributors to family income. if schools cannot educate all. Factors Impeding Equality In regions where high youth bulges intersect with historical patterns of patriarchal bias. women will have gained more rights and freedoms—in terms of education. • Although the difference between women’s and men’s earnings narrowed during the past 10 years.
Other Benefits The stakes for achieving gender parity are high and not just for women. Women in developing regions often turn to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide basic services. Reducing unemployment levels is crucial because countries already unable to provide employment for male job-seekers are not likely to improve employment opportunities for women. UN leaders pledged to achieve gender equity in primary and secondary education by the year 2005 in every country of the world. • By 2005. NGOs could become even more important to the status of women by 2020 as women in developing countries face increased threats and acquire IT networking capabilities. ICT also will enable women to form social and political networks. The current trend toward decentralization and devolution of power in most states will afford women increased opportunities for political participation. The spread of information and communication technologies (ICT) offers great promise. increases in the level of ICT infrastructure tend to improve gender equality in education and employment. At the Millennium Summit. it must deliver stability through inclusiveness and accountability. these networks could become a 21st century counterpart to the 1980s’ Solidarity Movement against the Communist regime in Poland. A growing body of empirical literature suggests that gender equality in education promotes economic growth and reduces child mortality and malnutrition. According to World Bank analysis. 39 . Despite only modest gains in the number of female officeholders at the national level—women currently are heads of state in only eight countries—female participation in local and provincial politics is steadily rising and will especially benefit rural women removed from the political center of a country. the 45 countries that are not on course to meet the UN targets are likely to suffer 1 to 3 percent lower GDP per capita growth as a result.(continued…) The Status of Women in 2020 Factors Contributing to Equality A broader reform agenda that includes good governance and low unemployment levels is essential to raising the status of women in many countries. particularly in the Middle East. International development experts emphasize that while good governance need not fit a Western democratic mold. For regions suffering political oppression.
It is depicted in the form of a hypothetical letter from the head of the World Economic Forum to a former US Federal Reserve chairman on the eve of the annual Davos meeting in 2020. but some founder. Africa does better than one might think. Under this scenario. and their huge. including the need for more management by leaders lest globalization slip off the rails. the Middle East lags behind and threatens the future of globalization. In addition. we identify some lessons to be drawn from our fictional account. growing tensions over Taiwan may be on the verge of triggering an economic meltdown. consumerdriven domestic markets become a major focus for global business and technology. while some mediumsized emerging countries are squeezed. have to contend with job insecurity despite the many benefits to be derived from an expanding global economy. the Asian giants as well as other developing states continue to outpace most “Western” economies. Although benefiting from energy price increases. At the end of the scenario. Western powers.Fictional Scenario: Davos World This scenario provides an illustration of how robust economic growth over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face. 40 . including the United States. Many boats are lifted.
A combination of sustained high economic growth. almost all population growth will occur in developing nations that until recently have occupied places on the fringes of the global economy (see graphic on page 48). China.6 The “arriviste” powers—China. • • • • 6 CIA. but most economists believe it also will sustain high levels of economic growth. come into their own. is now the third largest producer of manufactured goods. for example. expanding military capabilities.Rising Powers: The Changing Geopolitical Landscape The likely emergence of China and India as new major global players—similar to the rise of Germany in the 19th century and the United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape. • Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations—projected by the US Census Bureau to be 1. India currently lags behind China (see box on page 53) on most economic measures. Competition from “the China price” already powerfully restrains manufactures prices worldwide. with impacts potentially as dramatic as those of the previous two centuries.3 billion respectively by 2020—their standard of living need not approach Western levels for these countries to become important economic powers.” the early 21st century may be seen as the time when some in the developing world. Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties. India. 47 . It should easily surpass Japan in a few years. and perhaps others such as Brazil and Indonesia—could usher in a new set of international alignments. active promotion of high technologies. its share having risen from four to 12 percent in the past decade. Only an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or a major upheaval in these countries would prevent their rise. led by China and India. • The population of the region that served as the locus for most 20thcentury history—Europe and Russia— will decline dramatically in relative terms. Long-Term Global Demographic Trends: Reshaping the Geopolitical Landscape.4 billion and almost 1. and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries. July 2001. potentially marking a definitive break with some of the post-World War II institutions and practices. In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the “American Century. not only in share of manufacturing but also of the world’s exports.
Indonesia. Japan. These include the possible economic rise of other states—such as Brazil. Rising Asia China’s desire to gain “great power” status on the world stage will be reflected in its greater economic leverage over 48 . China’s and India’s perceived need to secure access to energy supplies will propel these countries to become more global rather than just regional powers. and even Russia— which may reinforce the growing role of China and India even though by themselves these other countries would have more limited geopolitical impact. while Europe and Russia’s co-dependency is likely to be strengthened. although Europe. South Africa. The growing demand for energy will drive many of these likely changes on the geopolitical landscape. we do not discount the possibility of a stronger. more united Europe and a more internationally activist Japan.At the same time. other changes are likely to shape the new landscape. and Russia will be hard pressed to deal with aging populations. Finally.
• Japan. Like China. including in such organizations as the World Trade Organization (WTO). narcotics trafficking. by any measure. a first-rate military power. potentially accommodating themselves to its preferences. Iran. resulting in heightened prospects for political instability. also may try to appeal to each other and the United States to counterbalance China’s growing influence. Beijing’s failure to maintain its economic growth would itself have a global impact. ” The rise of India also will present strategic complications for the region. • China will continue to strengthen its military through developing and acquiring modern weapons. 49 . including advanced fighter aircraft. China will overtake Russia and others as the second largest defense spender after the United States over the next two decades and will be. particularly on sensitive issues like Taiwan. Taiwan. Economic setbacks and crises of confidence could slow China’s emergence as a full-scale great power. China may be hard pressed to deal with all the issues linked to such serious demographic problems.countries in the region and elsewhere as well as its steps to strengthen its military. and illegal migration. • Chinese Government failure to satisfy popular needs for job creation could trigger political unrest. sophisticated submarines. East Asian states are adapting to the advent of a more powerful China by forging closer economic and political ties with Beijing. and other countries of the Middle East. If China’s economy takes a downward turn. and increasing numbers of ballistic missiles. India will be an economic magnet for the region. and various Southeast Asian nations. India seeks to bolster regional cooperation both for strategic reasons and because of its desire to increase its leverage with the West. regional security would weaken. however. “Economic setbacks and crises of confidence could slow China’s emergence as a full-scale great power…. It is unlikely to have developed by then the same coping mechanisms—such as sophisticated pension and health-care systems—characteristic of Western societies. crime. • Faced with a rapidly aging society beginning in the 2020s. and its rise will have an impact not only in Asia but also to the north—Central Asia. however.
although they are unlikely to exercise the same political clout as China or India. and other countries—may move closer to India to help build a potential geopolitical counterweight to China. India may stumble and experience political and economic volatility with pressure on resources— 51 . India will seek to strengthen its ties with countries in the region without excluding China. and energy supplies— intensifying as it modernizes. India will face stark choices as its population increases and its surface and ground water become even more polluted.6 billion. • Chinese-Indian bilateral trade is expected to rise rapidly from its current small base of $7. water. but they appear unlikely to become such economic engines that they will be able to alter the flow of economic power within and through their Just like China. according to Goldman Sachs and other experts. Russia. For example. Singapore. At the same time. land. Indonesia. Thailand. Other Rising States? Brazil. Their growth undoubtedly will benefit their neighbors.As India’s economy grows. and South Africa also are poised to achieve economic growth. governments in Southeast Asia—Malaysia.
7 percentage points—effectively wiping out growth during that time frame.Risks to Chinese Economic Growth Whether China’s rise occurs smoothly is a key uncertainty. the RAND Corporation identified and assessed eight major risks to the continued rapid growth of China’s economy over the next decade.4 and 10. would also worsen corruption.8 percentage points for the effects of poverty. In 2003. and unemployment to a high of between 1. for example. compound unemployment. and social unrest Energy consumption and prices Taiwan and other potential conflicts RAND’s estimates of the negative growth impact of these adverse developments occurring separately on a one-at-a-time basis range from a low of between 0. • The study assessed the probability that none of these developments would occur before 2015 as low and noted that they would be more likely to occur in clusters rather than individually – financial distress. Its “Fault Lines in China’s Economic Terrain” highlighted: • • • • • • • • Fragility of the financial system and state-owned enterprises Economic effects of corruption Water resources and pollution Possible shrinkage of foreign direct investment HIV/AIDS and epidemic diseases Unemployment. social unrest. RAND assessed the probability of all of these adverse developments occurring before 2015 as very low but estimated that should they all occur their cumulative effect would be to reduce Chinese economic growth by between 7.8 and 2.2 percentage points for epidemic disease. • 52 . poverty. and reduce foreign direct investment. and social unrest.3 and 0. poverty.
In recent years.India vs.” the legacy of a stifling bureaucracy still remains. India has overtaken South Africa as the country with the largest number of HIV-infected people. making it somewhat less vulnerable to political instability. India possesses working capital markets and world-class firms in some important hightech sectors. and the 2002 “pogrom” against the Muslim minority in Gujarat as evidence of a worsening trend. who have not enjoyed major benefits from economic growth. The country is not yet attractive for foreign investment and faces strong political challenges as it continues down the path of economic reform. • On the other hand. according to most measures such as overall GDP. China might find its own path toward an “Asian democracy” that may not involve major instability or disruption to its economic growth—but there are a large number of unknowns. amount of foreign investment (today a small fraction of China’s). whereas. should China’s growth slow by several percentage points. both China and India still resemble other developing states in the problems each must overcome. India’s growth rate has lagged China’s by about 20 percent. including the large numbers. particularly in rural areas. some observers see communal tensions just below the surface. some experts believe that India might overtake China as the fastest growing economy in the world. According to recent UN data. India could emerge as the world’s fastest-growing economy as we head towards 2020. whereas China faces the continuous challenge of reconciling an increasingly urban and middle-class population with an essentially authoritarian political system. India is also faced with the burden of having a much larger proportion of its population in desperate poverty. while India has clearly evolved beyond what the Indians themselves referred to as the 2-3 percent “Hindu growth rate. Nevertheless. and per capita income. But China’s ability to sustain its current pace is probably more at risk than is India’s. China’s will diminish and age quite rapidly. 53 . In many other respects. India has well-entrenched democratic institutions. citing the overall decline of secularism. due to the one-child policy. China: Long-Term Prospects India lags economically behind China. Both also face a potentially serious HIV/AIDS epidemic that could seriously affect economic prospects if not brought under control. growth of regional and caste-based political parties. especially the risks to political stability and the challenges facing China’s financial sector as it moves toward a fuller market orientation. The bottom line: India would be hard-pressed to accelerate economic growth rates to levels above those reached by China in the past decade. In addition. which China has yet to achieve. Several factors could weaken China’s prospects for economic growth. India has several factors working for it: • • Its working-age population will continue to increase well into the 2020s.
but Russia faces a severe demographic challenge resulting from low birth rates. in the complex world of 2020 Russia could be an important. Indonesia is an amalgam of divergent ethnic and religious groups. including intellectual property rights protection and openness to foreign investment. Although an Indonesian national identity has been forged in the five decades since independence. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player. Luring foreign direct investment and advancing regional stability and equitable integration—including trade and economic infrastructure—probably will remain axioms of Brazilian foreign policy. Experts assess that over the course of the next decade and a half Indonesia may revert to high growth of 6 to 7 percent. limiting prospects for diversifying its economy. which along with its expected increase in its relatively large population from 226 to around 250 million would make it one of the largest developing economies. Russia’s energy resources will give a boost to economic growth. The potential also exists for Russia to enhance its leverage with others as a result of its position as a major oil and gas exporter. Experts acknowledge that Brazil is a pivotal state with a vibrant democracy. such as the United States and Europe. and conflict—are likely to get worse over the next 15 years. The problems along its southern borders—including Islamic extremism. Brazil’s success or failure in balancing pro-growth economic measures with an ambitious social agenda that reduces poverty and income inequality will have a profound impact on regionwide economic performance and governance during the next 15 years. poor medical care. and solid economic institutions. terrorism. thus heightening the risk of greater political instability.regions—a key element in Beijing and New Delhi’s political and economic rise. partner both for the established powers. a large national patrimony. 54 . Such high growth would presume an improved investment environment. With slower growth its economy would be unable to absorb the unemployed or under-employed labor force. Inside Russia. US Census Bureau projections show the working-age population likely to shrink dramatically by 2020. the government is still beset by stubborn secessionist movements. a diversified economy and an entrepreneurial population. if troubled. Russia’s present trajectory away from pluralism toward bureaucratic authoritarianism also decreases the chances it will be able to attract foreign investment outside the energy sector. weak states with poor governance. and a potentially explosive AIDS situation. Brazil is a natural partner both for the United States and Europe and for rising powers China and India and has the potential to enhance its leverage as a net exporter of oil. the autonomous republics in North Caucasus risk failure and will remain a source of endemic tension and conflict. and the rising powers of China and India.
the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Strait crises are likely to come to a head by 2020. Malaysia. Asia will exemplify most of the trends that we see as shaping the world over the next 15 years. Japan. The United States and China have strong incentives to avoid confrontation. but rising nationalism in China and fears in the US of China as an emerging strategic competitor could fuel an increasingly antagonistic relationship. The regional experts felt that the possibility of major inter-state conflict remains higher in Asia than in other regions. rising populations will challenge the capacity of governments to provide basic services. risking the outbreak of pandemics. China and other countries in Northeast Asia. the roles of and interaction between the region’s major powers—China. and Southeast Asia. Finally. Northeast and Southeast Asia will progress along divergent paths—the countries of the North will become wealthier and more powerful. parts of Southeast Asia will be a source of transnational threats—terrorism and organized crime—to the countries of the North. will experience a slowing of population growth and a “graying” of their peoples over the next 15 years. In Southeast Asian countries such as The Philippines and Indonesia. while at least some states in the South may lag economically and will continue to face deep ethnic and religious cleavages. In their view. At the same time. China also could face sustained armed unrest from separatist movements along its western borders. The diversion of investment towards China and India also could spur Southeast Asia to implement plans for a single economic community and investment area by 2020. which will adapt to the continuing spread of globalization.Asia: The Cockpit for Global Change? According to the regional experts we consulted. The North/South divisions are likely to be reflected in a cultural split between non-Muslim Northeast Asia. The experts also felt that demographic factors will play a key role in shaping regional developments. 55 . where Islamic fundamentalism may increasingly make inroads in such states as Indonesia. including South Korea. and parts of The Philippines. High population concentrations and increasing ease of travel will facilitate the spread of infectious diseases. China also will have to face the consequences of a gender imbalance caused by its one-child policy. As Northeast Asia acts as a political and economic center of gravity for the countries of the South. violence within Southeast Asian states—in the form of separatist insurgencies and terrorism—could intensify. Japan’s relationship with the US and China will be shaped by China’s rise and the nature of any settlement on the Korean Peninsula and over Taiwan. and the US—will undergo significant change by 2020. risking conflict with global repercussions. Population and poverty pressures will spur migration within the region and to Northeast Asia.
7 56 . the level of US influence in the region and how developments in Korea and Taiwan play out. single currency.“Russia’s energy resources will give a boost to economic growth. At the same time. Opinion polls indicate growing public support for Japan becoming a more “normal” country with a proactive foreign policy. but Russia faces a severe demographic challenge…[with its] working-age population likely to shrink dramatically. South African experts adept at scenario-building and gaming see the country’s future as lying with partnerships formed outside the region. a resurgence or lack of continued vitality in Japan’s economy. Japanese concerns regarding regional stability are likely to grow owing to the ongoing crisis over North Korea. and GDP—an enlarged Europe will have the ability to increase its weight on the international scene. Its crossroads location and the growing diversity of its population—particularly in pulling in new members—provides it with a unique ability to forge strong bonds both to the south with the Muslim world and Africa and to the east with Russia and Eurasia. stable democratic governments. for example. Experts disagree over whether South Africa can be an engine for more than southern Africa or will instead forge closer relationships with middling or up-and-coming powers on other continents. growing Chinese economic power is likely to spur increased activism by Japan on the world stage. continuing tensions between China and Taiwan and the challenge of integrating rising China and India without major disruption. 26 November 2003. “…Europe’s strength may be in providing… a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers…” By most measures—market size. According to some forecasts. At some point.” South Africa will continue to be challenged by AIDS and widespread crime and poverty. Asia’s Shifting Strategic Landscape. unified trade bloc. highly skilled work force. South Africa’s economy is projected to grow over the next decade in the 4. Experts see various trajectories that Japan could follow depending on such factors as the extent of China’s growing strength. If anything. but prospects for its economy—the largest in the region—look promising. especially China7.to 5-percent range if reformist policies are implemented. Japan may have to choose between “balancing” against or “bandwagoning” with China. Foreign Policy Research Institute. The “Aging” Powers Japan’s economic interests in Asia have shifted from Southeast Asia toward Northeast Asia—especially China and the China-Japan-Korea triangle—over the past two decades and experts believe the aging of Japan’s work force will reinforce dependence on outbound investment and greater economic integration with Northeast Asia.
is no longer unthinkable. • Unlike the expansion when Ireland. education. Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre. Whether the EU will develop an army is an open question.4— well below the 2. and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries) or they face a period of protracted economic stasis that could threaten the huge successes made in creating a more United Europe. EU member states Strategic Trends. Europe’s total fertility rate is about 1. Europe’s strength may be in providing. In working through the problems. Brussels has a fraction of the structural funds available for quickly bringing up the Central Europeans to the economic levels of the rest of the EU. March 2003. 8 57 . and Germany is likely to fall further behind China and other countries over the next 15 years. provided that mutual acceptance and agreement can be achieved. through its commitment to multilateralism. taking in ten new east European members probably will be a “drag” on the deepening of European Union (EU) institutions necessary for the development of a cohesive and shared “strategic vision” for the EU’s foreign and security policy. West European economies will need to find several million workers to fill positions vacated by retiring workers. In the short term. and tax systems. though still unlikely. a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers. Collectively these countries will outspend all others except the US and possibly China8. Portugal and Greece joined the Common Market in the 1970s and early 1980s. France. historically have had difficulties in coordinating and rationalizing defense spending in such a way as to boost capabilities despite progress on a greater EU security and defense role. reform their social welfare. While its military forces have little capacity for power projection. creating a serious but not insurmountable economic and political challenge. a path might be found that can help Europe to accommodate and integrate its growing Muslim population. in part because its creation could duplicate or displace NATO forces. including the UK. particularly if they are searching for a “Western” alternative to strong reliance on the United States. Either European countries adapt their work forces. Over the next 15 years.1 replacement level. Possible Turkish membership presents both challenges—because of Turkey’s size and religious and cultural differences—as well as opportunities. For example. • Defense spending by individual European countries. an EU-China alliance.The extent to which Europe enhances its clout on the world stage depends on its ability to achieve greater political cohesion. Spain. Aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent.
but also most parts of developed regions such as Australia. New Zealand. Recipient countries face the challenge of integrating new immigrants so as to minimize potential social conflict. and even international repercussions. Vol 5. today one-half of Nigerian-born medical doctors and PhDs reside in the United States.” Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Watch on the West. Taiwan. and East Asian countries like Singapore. including Arab and Muslim states such as Turkey.Global Aging and Migration According to US Census Bureau projections. Algeria. Indeed. pronounced trend of “brain drain” from the Middle East and Africa to diminish.9 China is a special case where the transition to an aging population—nearly 400 million Chinese will be over 65 by 2020—is particularly abrupt and the emergence of a serious gender imbalance could have increasing political. This includes not only Europe. even if many of the migrants do not have legal status. North America. 58 . to a lesser degree. Most experts do not expect the current. Tunisia. and Japan. “Four Surprises in Global Demography. Migration has the potential to help solve the problem of a declining work force in Europe and. where the problem is particularly severe. and South Korea. about half of the world’s population lives in countries or territories whose fertility rates are not sufficient to replace their current populations. Number 5. • Remittances from migrant workers are increasingly important to developing economies. particularly in Europe. 9 Nicholas Eberstadt. Some economists believe remittances are greater than foreign direct investment in most poor countries and in some cases are more valuable than exports. and Lebanon. Certain countries in the developing world. July 2004. also are dropping below the level of 2. Russia. Hong Kong. However. An unfunded nationwide pension arrangement means many Chinese may have to continue to work into old age. social. it could increase with the expected growth of employment opportunities.1 children per woman necessary to maintain long-term population stability. Russia and Japan and probably will become a more important feature of the world of 2020.
particularly that of China and India. While Russia. Continued 59 . total energy consumed probably will rise by about 50 percent in the next two decades compared to a 34 percent expansion from 1980–2000.Growing Demands for Energy Growing demands for energy— especially by the rising powers—through 2020 will have substantial impacts on geopolitical relations. nuclear power probably will decline globally in absolute terms in the next decade. overall energy supplies will be sufficient to meet growing global demand. The International Energy Agency assesses that with substantial investment in new capacity. The single most important factor affecting the demand for energy will be global economic growth. and wind energy probably will account for only about 8 percent of the energy supply in 2020. and India all plan expansions of their nuclear power sector. with an increasing share provided by petroleum. • Despite the trend toward more efficient energy use. China. • Renewable energy sources such as hydrogen. solar.
many experts believe the EU has to continue streamlining the complicated decision-making process that hinders collective action. even if they remained nominal members. posing a longterm problem. Even if more guest workers are not allowed in. Europe’s future international role depends greatly on whether it undertakes major structural economic and social reforms to deal with its aging work-force problem. If no changes were implemented Europe could experience a further overall slowdown. Barring increased legal entry may only lead to more illegal migrants who will be harder to integrate. Increased flexibility in the workplace. and individual countries might go their own way. Structural reforms there—and in France and Italy to lesser extents— remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its slow-growth pattern. Encouraging the “younger elderly” (50-65 year olds) to work longer or return to the work force also would help ease labor shortages. The experts believe that the EU’s economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labor laws. Experts believe an economic “leap forward”—stirring renewed confidence and enthusiasm in the European project—could trigger such enhanced international action. making accession unlikely for Turkey and the Balkan countries. The demographic picture will require a concerted. Western Europe will have to integrate a growing Muslim population. enlargement is likely to stop with current members.Could Europe Become A Superpower? According to the regional experts we consulted. disintegration of the European Union. In such a scenario. but Europe probably would not be able to play a major international role commensurate with its size. at worst. not to mention long-term possibilities such as Russia or Ukraine. multidimensional approach including: • More legal immigration and better integration of workers likely to be coming mainly from North Africa and the Middle East. particularly on foreign policy. such as encouraging young women to take a few years off to start families in return for guarantees of reentry. Experts are dubious that the present political leadership is prepared to make even this partial break. 61 . It is possible to imagine European nations successfully adapting their work forces and social welfare systems to these new realities. for example—successfully assimilating millions of new Muslim migrant workers in a short period of time. A total break from the post-World War II welfare state model may not be necessary. undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role. A federal Europe—unlikely in the 2020 timeframe—is not necessary to enable it to play a weightier international role so long as it can begin to mobilize resources and fuse divergent views into collective policy goals. as shown in Sweden’s successful example of providing more flexibility for businesses while conserving many worker rights. it is harder to see a country— Germany. Doing just enough to keep growth rates at one or two percent may result in some expansion. believing a looming budgetary crisis in the next five years would be the more likely trigger for reform. In addition to the need for increased economic growth and social and welfare reform. • The experts felt that the current welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalization could lead to the splintering or.
China and India. In trying to maximize and diversify its energy supplies. Latin America. and the interdependency of pipeline delivery— producers must be connected to consumers. Traditional suppliers in the Middle East are also increasingly unstable. and typically neither group has many alternatives—reinforces regional alliances. Indonesia. and potentially huge deposits in Australia. Thus sharper demand-driven competition for resources. perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. Both oil and gas suppliers will have greater leverage than today. Chinese firms are being directed to invest in projects in the Caspian region. thus. but the relationship between gas suppliers and consumers is likely to be particularly strong because of the restrictions on delivery mechanisms. including expanding naval power. Gas. is among the key uncertainties. The United States will look almost exclusively to Canada and other western hemisphere suppliers. Beijing’s growing energy requirements are likely to prompt China to increase its activist role in the world—in the Middle East. and gas-toliquids technology is unlikely to change these ratios substantially by 2020. • • • 62 . the need for energy will be a major factor in shaping their foreign and defense policies. China worries about being vulnerable to pressure from the United States which Chinese officials see as having an aggressive energy policy that can be used against Beijing. and South America in order to secure more reliable access. and many of the areas—the Caspian Sea. is not yet a fungible source of energy. however. Russia. will have to ensure continued access to outside suppliers. which lack adequate domestic energy resources. West Africa and South China Sea—that are being counted on to provide increased output involve substantial political or economic risk. Europe will have access to supplies in Russia and North Africa while China will be able to draw from eastern Russia. Venezuela. • More than 95 percent of gas produced and three quarters of gas traded is distributed via pipelines directly from supplier to consumer. Europe’s energy needs are unlikely to grow to the same extent as those of the developing world. and Eurasia.limited access of the international oil companies to major fields could restrain this investment. in part because of Europe’s expected lower economic growth and more efficient use of energy. the Middle East. For more than ten years Chinese officials have openly asserted that production from Chinese firms The Geopolitics of Gas. • Experts believe China will need to boost its energy consumption by about 150 percent and India will need to nearly double its consumption by 2020 to maintain a steady rate of economic growth. investing overseas is more secure than imports purchased on the international market. unlike oil. Africa.
the Union’s share of energy from foreign sources will rise from about half in 2000 to two-thirds by 2020. will give an added boost to political efforts already under way to strengthen ties with Russia and North Africa. is among the key uncertainties. as gas requires a higher level of political commitment by both sides in designing and constructing the necessary infrastructure. Moreover. most major powers today believe countermeasures such as balancing are not likely to work in a situation in which the US controls so many of the levers of power. especially in the Middle East and the broader Muslim world. • Growing numbers of people around the world.” Most countries are likely to experiment with a variety of different tactics from various degrees of resistance to engagement in an effort to influence how US power is exercised. and technologically. “There are few policy-relevant theories to indicate how states are likely to deal with a situation in which the US continues to be the single most powerful actor economically. US policies are not perceived as sufficiently threatening to warrant such a step. Gas use will increase most rapidly due to environmental concerns and the phasing out of much of the EU’s nuclear energy capacity.” Deliveries from the Yamal-Europe pipeline and the Blue Stream pipeline will help Russia increase its gas sales to the EU and Turkey by more than 40 percent over 2000 levels in the first decade of the 21st century. According to a study by the European Commission. Russia’s share of total European demand will rise from 27 percent in 2000 to 31 percent in 2010. militarily.… Thus sharper demand-driven competition… perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. including resistance to support for US interests in multinational forums and development of asymmetric military capabilities as a hedge against the US. “…many of the areas… being counted on to provide increased [energy] output involve substantial political or economic risk. as a result. Algeria has the world’s eighth largest gas reserves and also is seeking to increase its exports to Europe by 50 percent by the end of the decade. Russia. believe the US is bent on regional domination—or direct political and economic domination of other states and their resources. US Unipolarity—How Long Can It Last? A world with a single superpower is unique in modern times. combined with depleting reserves in the North Sea. In the future. as the largest energy supplier outside of OPEC. will be well positioned to marshal its oil and gas reserves to support domestic and foreign policy objectives.Europe’s increasing preference for natural gas. moreover. We expect that countries will pursue strategies designed to exclude or isolate the US—perhaps 63 . growing distrust could prompt governments to take a more hostile approach. Despite the rise in anti-Americanism.
and fast-paced world. The scenario also suggests that Washington has to struggle to assert leadership in an increasingly diverse. Fictional Scenario: Pax Americana The scenario portrayed below looks at how US predominance may survive radical changes to the global political landscape. including on the Middle East. complex. but the United States still does the heavy lifting. In other forms of bargaining. with Washington remaining the central pivot for international politics. Under this scenario. key alliances and relationships with Europe and Asia undergo change. At the end of the scenario. There are new security arrangements in Asia. Many countries increasingly believe that the surest way to gain leverage over Washington is by threatening to withhold cooperation.temporarily—in order to force or cajole the US into playing by others’ rules. It is depicted as the diary entry by a fictitious UN Secretary-General in 2020. 64 . we identify lessons learned from how the scenario played out. US-European cooperation is renewed. foreign governments will try to find ways to “bandwagon” or connect their policy agendas to those of the US—for example on the war on terrorism—and thereby fend off US opposition to other policies.
In particular. by 2020 democratization may be partially reversed among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia. and increasingly from Southeast Asia into the northern regions—more countries will be multi-ethnic and multi-religious and will face the challenge of integrating migrants into their societies while respecting their ethnic and religious identities. Russia and most of the Central Asian regimes appear to be 73 . Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. “…backsliding by many countries that were considered part of the ‘third wave’ of democratization is a distinct possibility. aging Central Asian rulers must contend with unruly and large youth populations lacking broad economic opportunities. which in turn would spur democratization. China may pursue an “Asian way” of democracy that might involve elections at the local level and a consultative mechanism on the national level. perhaps Halting Progress on Democratization Global economic growth has the potential to spur democratization. some of which never really embraced democracy. but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies. Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. but backsliding by many countries that were considered part of the “third wave” of democratization is a distinct possibility. • With migration on the increase in several places around the world— from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe. but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop. Central Asian governments are likely to suppress dissent and revert to authoritarianism to maintain order. slipping back toward authoritarianism.” Chinese leaders will face a dilemma over how much to accommodate pluralistic pressure and relax political controls or risk a popular backlash if they do not. Beijing also has to weigh in the balance its ambition to be a major global player. and global economic growth probably will not on its own reverse such a trend. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize. will place enormous strains on governments.New Challenges to Governance The nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order. especially information technologies. • Beset already by severe economic inequalities. which would be enhanced if its rulers moved towards political reform. The development of more diversified economies in these countries—by no means inevitable—would be crucial in fostering the growth of a middle class. risking growing insurgencies.
such as Ukraine. Tajikistan. the experts foresaw more unity if economic conditions worsen globally and Eurasia is isolated. it could well experience the petro-state phenomenon of unbalanced economic development. xenophobia—to define Russian identity. Moreover. the challenge will be to develop effective project and service industries. Turkmenistan. To diversify its economy. Russia would need to undertake structural changes and institute the rule of law. Russian nationalism is on the increase as a result of growing ethnic unrest domestically. a relatively young population. Turkmenistan. Religious and ethnic movements could have a destabilizing impact across the region. huge income inequality. which could in turn encourage foreign direct investment outside of the energy sector. has little experience in integrating migrants from other cultures. Tajikistan. In the view of the experts. Russia has the best prospects for expanding its economy beyond resource extraction and becoming more integrated into the world economy. and growing radical Islamic influence. with considerable potential for religious and ethnic conflict over the next 15 years. and increased social problems. Russia. For countries with more limited natural resources. Kazakhstan. and Uzbekistan— face the stiff challenge of keeping the social peace in a context of high population growth. requiring better governance. Eurasia is likely to become more differentiated despite the fact that demographic counterforces—such as a dearth of manpower in Russia and western Eurasia and an oversupply in Central Asia—could help pull the region together. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Georgia. a stagnant Russia would be looked to by the others to maintain order along the southern rim as some Central Asian countries—Turkmenistan. 74 . and our experts believe any efforts to expand immigration policies would be exploited by nationalist politicians. limited economic prospects. Central Asian countries—Kazakhstan. and Azerbaijan. Krgyzstan. Moscow probably would be more tolerant of former Soviet states moving closer to Europe. His successors may well define Russian identity by highlighting Russia’s imperial past and its domination over its neighbors even as they reject communist ideology. Central Asian states are weak. however. Regional experts were less confident about the potential for significant economic diversification in the other resource-rich countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus over the next 15 years—in particular. Ironically. If Russia fails to diversify its economy. Kyrgyztan. Russia would benefit from migration as a means of compensating for its loss of approximately one million people a year through 2020. In that case. capital flight. Putin has increasingly appealed to Russian nationalism—and. occasionally. Russia and the Central Asians are likely to cooperate in developing transportation corridors for energy supplies. The participants assessed that among the resource-rich countries. Allowing more emigration could help alleviate these pressures in Central Asian countries. and Kyrgyzstan—faced potential collapse.Eurasian Countries: Going Their Separate Ways? The regional experts who attended our conference felt that Russia’s political development since the fall of Communism has been complicated by the continuing search for a post-Soviet national identity. Knowing that Europe probably would want to forge a “special relationship” with a Russia that is stronger economically.
and accomplish tasks with potentially more satisfying and efficient results than their governments can deliver. Many regional experts are not hopeful that the generational turnover in several of the regimes will by itself spur democratic reform. believe present and future leaders are agnostic on the issue of democracy and are more interested in developing what they perceive to be the most effective model of governance. Today individual PC users have more capacity at their fingertips than NASA had with the computers used in its first moon launches. The trend toward even more capacity. • 75 . affordability. • China is experiencing among the fastest rates of increase of Internet and mobile phone users in the world. and mobility will have enormous political implications: myriad individuals and small groups— many of whom had not been previously so empowered—will not only connect with one another but will plan. and is the leading market for broadband communication. which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes.with the Communist Party retaining control over the central government. • Younger Chinese leaders who are already exerting influence as mayors and regional officials have been trained in Western-style universities and have a good understanding of international standards of governance. This almost certainly will affect individuals’ relationships with and views of their governments and will put pressure on some governments for more responsiveness. Reports of growing investment by many Middle Eastern governments in developing high-speed information infrastructures. speed. according to the International Telecommunications Union. although radicals may use the ballot box to gain power. mobilize. a 2001 Freedom House study showed a dramatic and expanding gap in the levels of freedom and democracy between Islamic countries and the rest of the world. The lack of economic growth in the Middle East outside the energy sector is one of the primary underlying factors for the slow pace. Most of the experts at our regional conference. However. • The extent to which radical Islam grows and how regimes respond to its pressures will also have long-term repercussions for democratization and High-Tech Pressures on Governance. although they are not yet widely available to the population nor well-connected to the larger world. however. • the growth of civil society institutions. An extended period of high oil prices would allow regimes to put off economic and fiscal reform. • Democratic progress could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries. creating pressures for change. show obvious potential for the spread of democratic—and undemocratic— ideas. Success in establishing a working democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan—and democratic consolidation in Indonesia—would set an example for other Muslim and Arab states.
There is a strong consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is real and that average surface temperatures have risen over the last century. Any of these events could lead to widespread calls for the United States. a regime based on government regulation will tend to be costly and inflexible.Climate Change and Its Implications Through 2020 Policies regarding climate change are likely to feature significantly in multilateral relations. is likely to face significant bilateral pressure to change its domestic environmental policies and to be a leader in global environmental efforts. and the United States. and the need for significant technological innovation to maximize energy efficiency. The numerous obstacles to multilateral action include resistance from OPEC countries that depend on fossil fuel revenues. Among reasons for optimism. 76 . Japan. the developing world’s view that climate change is a problem created by the industrial world and one they cannot address given their economic constraints. Indeed. Experts in a NIC-sponsored conference judged that concerns about greenhouse gases. will increase steadily through 2020. and India would cover twothirds of all carbon emissions. There are likely to be numerous weather-related events that. will be linked to global warming. participants noted that the world is ready and eager for US leadership and that new multilateral institutions are not needed to address this issue. the European Union. in particular. correctly or not. to take dramatic steps to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels. On the other hand. but uncertainty exists about causation and possible remedies. of which China and India are large producers. crafting a policy to limit carbon emissions would be simplified by the fact that three political entities—the United States. and China— account for over half of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Policymakers will face a dilemma: an environmental regime based solely on economic incentives will probably not produce needed technological advances because firms will be hesitant to invest in research when there is great uncertainty about potential profits. as the largest producer of greenhouse gases. An agreement that included these three plus the Russian Federation.
The potential is considerable for such groups to drive national and even global political decisionmaking on a wide range of issues normally the purview of governments. cultural. Populist themes are likely to emerge as a potent political and social force. • However. 77 . Few experts fear a general backsliding to the rule of military juntas in Latin America. a trend which may complicate the ability of state and global institutions to generate internal consensus and enforce decisions and could even challenge their authority and legitimacy. which may emerge even more as a robust force in international affairs. such as Laos.• Some states will seek to control the Internet and its contents. which so far have sought change through democratic means. technology-enabled diaspora communications in native languages could lead to the preservation of language and culture in the face of widespread emigration and cultural change as well as the generation of political and economic power. Cambodia. The Internet in particular will spur the creation of global movements. the failure of elites to adapt to the evolving demands of free markets and democracy probably will fuel a revival in populism and drive indigenous movements. populism will not necessarily be inimical to political development and can serve to broaden participation in the political process. A sense of economic progress and hope for its continuance appears essential to the long-term credibility of democratic systems. Many. to consider more drastic means for seeking what they consider their “fair share” of political power and wealth. Rising nationalism and a trend toward populism also will present a challenge to governments in Asia. In parts of Latin America particularly. Growing connectivity also will be accompanied by the proliferation of transnational virtual communities of interest. For example. are unable to deliver on expanding popular demands and risk becoming state failures. especially as globalization risks aggravating social divisions along economic and ethnic lines. but they will face increasing challenges as new networks offer multiple means of communicating. Groups based on common religious. as with religion. The Latin American countries that are adapting to challenges most effectively are building sturdier and more capable democratic institutions to implement more inclusive and responsive policies and enhance citizen and investor confidence. ethnic or other affiliations may be torn between their national loyalties and other identities. and Burma.
Latin America in 2020: Will Globalization Cause the Region to Split? The experts we consulted in Latin America contended that global changes over the next 15 years could deepen divisions and serve to split Latin America apart in economic. investment. a new social contract. is most apparent. regional experts foresee an increasing risk of the rise of charismatic. mobilize. Information technology. self-styled populist leaders. has grown. could lag behind and remain dependent on the US and Canada as their preferred trade partners and aid providers. In the most profoundly weak of these governments. Central America and Mexico. and trade policy terms. viewing it as an homogenizing force that undermines their unique cultures and as a US-imposed. Many reject globalization as it has played out in the region. particularly Brazil and Chile. As the Southern Cone. historically common in the region. along with Andean countries. Indeed. reach out to new partners in Asia and Europe. and even the state. who would play on popular concerns over inequities between “haves” and “have-nots” in the weakest states in Central America and Andean countries. prevented many countries from realizing the full measure of economic and social benefits from greater integration into the global economy in the past decade. and empower those traditionally excluded. For Latin Americans. the gap between rich and the poor. connect. the effects of continued economic growth and global integration are likely to be uneven and fragmentary. • 78 . in part. potentially. the leaders could have an autocratic bent and be more stridently anti-American. will help educate. government ineffectiveness. along with parts of Mexico. Increasing portions of the population are identifying themselves as indigenous peoples and will demand not only a voice but. neo-liberal economic model whose inequitably distributed fruits are rooted in the exploitation of labor and the environment. Instead. The experts made the following observations on regional prospects in other areas: • Identity politics. Over the next 15 years. the represented and the excluded. both as a mass media and means of inter-personal communication. The universalization of the Internet. particularly where the criminalization of the society.
Many of the churches’ traditional functions— education.” They have a worldview that advocates change of society. might not foster the cultural acceptance of new Muslim immigrants who view as discriminatory the ban in some West European countries against displays of religious adherence. and a religious belief system that connects local conflicts to a larger struggle. Christianity. or Muslim radicals—are becoming “activists.—are now performed by the state. • The primacy of ethnic and religious identities will provide followers with a ready-made community that serves as a “social safety net” in times of need— particularly important to migrants. etc. religious identity is likely to become an increasingly important factor in how people define themselves. insistent secularism. and the proportion of evangelical converts in traditionally heavily Catholic Latin America is rising. trends seem to point toward growing numbers of converts and a deepening religious commitment by many religious adherents. Such communities also provide networks that can lead to job opportunities. Many religious adherents—whether Hindu nationalists. Jewish fundamentalists in Israel. Christian evangelicals in Latin America. By 2020.” While we do not have comprehensive data on the number of people who have joined a religious faith or converted from one faith to another in recent years.• Experts note that a new generation of leaders is emerging in Africa from the private sector. however. China and Nigeria will have some of the largest Christian communities in the world. growing diversity of hostile groups within states. Buddhism. • • “Over the next 15 years. more broadly. 79 . a developing world face. Western Europe stands apart from this growing global “religiosity” except for the migrant communities from Africa and the Middle East. these leaders are much more comfortable with democracy than their predecessors and might provide a strong internal dynamic for democracy in the future. a tendency toward making sharp Manichaean distinctions between good and evil. and other religions and practices are spreading in such countries as China as Marxism declines. Over the next 15 years. social services. and the diffusion of modern communications technologies. A more pervasive. Identity Politics Part of the pressure on governance will come from new forms of identity politics centered on religious convictions and ethnic affiliation. giving them more of an African or Asian or. a shift that will reshape the traditionally Westernbased Christian institutions. The trend toward identity politics is linked to increased mobility. religious identity is likely to become an increasingly important factor in how people define themselves. • For example.
racially disadvantaged and often poorest groups. rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. For example. They are committed to restructuring political society in accordance with their vision of Islamic law and are willing to use violence. scholars see the growth of evangelism in Latin America as providing the uprooted. there are likely to be frictions in mixed communities as the activists attempt to gain converts among other religious groups or older established religious institutions. The spread of radical Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020. and the effects will linger long after. radical Islam’s increasing hold reflects the political and economic alienation of many young Muslims from their unresponsive and unrepresentative governments and related failure of many predominantly Muslim states to reap significant economic gains from globalization. Part of the appeal of radical Islam involves its call for a return by Muslims to earlier roots when Islamic civilization was at the forefront of global change. • In the Middle East. 10 Philip Jenkins.Such religious-based movements have been common in times of social and political turmoil in the past and have oftentimes been a force for positive change.”10 At the same time. 2004. The collective feelings of alienation and estrangement which radical Islam draws upon are unlikely to dissipate until the Muslim world again appears to be more fully integrated into the world economy. including women. 81 .” Radical Islam will continue to appeal to many Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien culture. August 4. 11 We define Muslim extremists as a subset of Islamic activists.. some of it violent. In keeping with the intense religious convictions of many of these movements. activists define their identities in opposition to “outsiders.” which can foster strife. which experts have correlated with high numbers of radical adherents. In particular. including Muslim extremists. consultations with the National Intelligence Council.11 • Youth bulges are expected to be especially acute in most Middle Eastern and West African countries until at least 2005-2010. Most of the regions that will experience gains in religious “activists” also have youth bulges. Radical Islam. “with a social network that would otherwise be lacking… providing members with skills they need to survive in a rapidly developing society. the desire by activist groups to change society often leads to more social and political turmoil.. “Radical Islam will have a significant global impact… rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries.(and helping) to promote the development of civil society in the region.
A Shia-dominated Iraq is likely to encourage greater activism by Shia minorities in other Middle Eastern nations. but many second.Studies show that Muslim immigrants are being integrated as West European countries become more inclusive. 82 . including West Africa. such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. where the historic Christian-Muslim faultlines cut across several countries. and Indonesia. The Philippines.and third-generation immigrants are drawn to radical Islam as they encounter obstacles to full integration and barriers to what they consider to be normal religious practices. and. also could lead to conflict in this era of increased religious identity. however historic and longlasting. will be a cause of regional strife. Differences over religion and ethnicity also will contribute to future conflict. • Schisms within religions. if unchecked. Regions where frictions risk developing into wider civil conflict include Southeast Asia.
Under this scenario. Russia and China. . At the end of the scenario. While the Caliph’s success in mobilizing support varies. a new Caliphate is proclaimed and manages to advance a powerful counter ideology that has widespread appeal. Europe. The scenario ends before the Caliph is able to establish both spiritual and temporal authority over a territory— which historically has been the case for previous Caliphates.Fictional Scenario: A New Caliphate The fictional scenario portrayed below provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity could emerge. places far outside the Muslim core in the Middle East—in Africa and Asia—are convulsed as a result of his appeals. It is depicted in the form of a hypothetical letter from a fictional grandson of Bin Ladin to a family relative in 2020. we identify lessons to be drawn. He recounts the struggles of the Caliph in trying to wrest control from traditional regimes and the conflict and confusion which 83 ensue both within the Muslim world and outside between Muslims and the United States.
We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity, which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats, by 2020. The psychological aspects, which we have addressed earlier in this paper, include concerns over job security as well as fears revolving around migration among both host populations and migrants. Terrorism and internal conflicts could interrupt the process of globalization by significantly increasing the security costs associated with international commerce, encouraging restrictive border control policies, and adversely affecting trade patterns and financial markets. Although far less likely than internal conflicts, conflict among great powers would create risks to world security. The potential for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will add to the pervasive sense of insecurity. Transmuting International Terrorism The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. Experts assess that the majority of international terrorist groups will continue to identify with radical Islam. The revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology both inside and outside the Middle East, including Western Europe, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. • This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among 93 Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, or southern Thailand and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. • A radical takeover in a Muslim country in the Middle East could spur the spread of terrorism in the region and give confidence to others that a new Caliphate is not just a dream. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrasas, hawalas,12 and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements. Alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.
“Our greatest concern is that [terrorist groups] might acquire biological agents, or less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause mass casualties.”
There are indications that the Islamic radicals’ professed desire to create a transnational insurgency, that is, a drive by Muslim extremists to overthrow a number of allegedly apostate secular
Hawalas constitute an informal banking system.
governments with predominately Muslim subjects, will have an appeal to many Muslims. • Anti-globalization and opposition to US policies could cement a greater body of terrorist sympathizers, financiers, and collaborators.
inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups, all of which will oppose the spread of many aspects of globalization into traditional Islamic societies. • Iraq and other possible conflicts in the future could provide recruitment, training grounds, technical skills and language proficiency for a new class of terrorists who are “professionalized” and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself. Foreign jihadists—individuals ready to fight anywhere they believe Muslim lands are under attack by what they see as “infidel invaders”— enjoy a growing sense of support from Muslims who are not necessarily supporters of terrorism.
“…We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will have been superceded by similarly inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups.”
A Dispersed Set of Actors. Pressure from the global counterterrorism effort, together with the impact of advances in information technology, will cause the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals. While taking advantage of sanctuaries around the world to train, terrorists will not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will increasingly become virtual (i.e., online). The core al-Qa’ida membership probably will continue to dwindle, but other groups inspired by al-Qa’ida, regionally based groups, and individuals labeled simply as jihadists—united by a common hatred of moderate regimes and the West—are likely to conduct terrorist attacks. The al-Qa’ida membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq. We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will have been superceded by similarly 94
Even if the number of extremists dwindles, however, the terrorist threat is likely to remain. Through the Internet and other wireless communications technologies, individuals with ill intent will be able to rally adherents quickly on a broader, even global, scale and do so obscurely. The rapid dispersion of bioand other lethal forms of technology increases the potential for an individual not affiliated with any terrorist group to be able to inflict widespread loss of life. Weapons, Tactics, and Targets. In the past, terrorist organizations relied on state sponsors for training, weapons, logistical support, travel documents, and money in support of their operations. In a globalized world, groups such as Hizballah are increasingly self-sufficient in meeting these needs and may act in a state-like manner to preserve “plausible deniability” by supplying other groups, working through third parties to meet
the bioterrorist’s laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen.e. Concurrently. smallpox or other diseases is typically delayed. and the range of options will grow. the scope. and the range of options will grow. Given the possibility that terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons. design. terrorists are likely to move up the technology ladder to employ advanced explosives and unmanned aerial vehicles. • While vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices will remain popular as asymmetric weapons. Because the recognition of anthrax. The United States and its interests abroad will remain prime terrorist targets.. and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they employ but rather in their operational concepts—i. possibly in widely separated locations. and even engaging governments diplomatically. they can be expected to continue attempting to purchase or steal a weapon. Most terrorist attacks will continue to employ primarily conventional weapons. The most worrisome trend has been an intensified search by some terrorist groups to obtain weapons of mass destruction. We expect that terrorists also will try to acquire and develop the capabilities to conduct cyber attacks to cause physical damage to computer systems and to disrupt critical information networks.” The religious zeal of extremist Muslim terrorists increases their desire to perpetrate attacks resulting in high casualties. better-informed groups. the use of such weapons by extremists before 2020 cannot be ruled out. terrorists will continue to seek to acquire fissile material in order to construct a nuclear weapon. under a “nightmare scenario” an attack could be well under way before authorities would be cognizant of it. religiously inspired terrorism has been most destructive because such groups are bound by few constraints. Historically. The use of radiological dispersal devices can be effective in creating panic because of the public’s misconception of the capacity of such attacks to kill large numbers of people. Indeed. 95 With advances in the design of simplified nuclear weapons. or support arrangements for attacks. “Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely. but more terrorist attacks might . Our greatest concern is that these groups might acquire biological agents or less likely. particularly in Russia or Pakistan. a nuclear device. either of which could cause mass casualties. • One such concept that is likely to continue is a large number of simultaneous attacks. Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely. • Bioterrorism appears particularly suited to the smaller.their objectives. incorporating new twists to keep counterterrorist planners off balance.
particularly drug trafficking syndicates. If governments in countries with WMD capabilities lose control of their inventories. and Brazil as well as Cuba. and cooperate with insurgent movements to control substantial geographic areas. insinuate themselves into troubled banks and businesses. Some of the former states of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact also will remain vulnerable to high levels of organized crime. • States that transition to one-party systems—such as any new Islamic-run state—will be vulnerable to corruption and attendant organized crime. Changing patterns of migration may introduce some types of organized crime into countries that have not previously experienced it. vulnerable to corruption. China. biological. Russia. the risk of organized crime trafficking in nuclear. and unable or unwilling to consistently enforce the rule of law. 96 . For their part. Organized criminal groups. or failing states. if it sees the end of its one-party system. however. Organized crime is likely to thrive in resource-rich states undergoing significant political and economic transformation. We expect that the relationship between terrorists and organized criminals will remain primarily a matter of business. • Some organized crime syndicates will form loose alliances with one another. exploit information technologies. that terrorists will turn to criminals who can provide forged documents. may take virtual control of regions within failing states to which the central government cannot extend its writ. They will attempt to corrupt leaders of unstable.Organized Crime Changing geostrategic patterns will shape global organized criminal activity over the next 15 years. smuggled weapons. Ethnic-based organized crime groups typically prey on members of their own diasporas and use them to gain footholds in new regions. or clandestine travel assistance when the terrorists cannot procure these goods and services on their own.. particularly if their ideology calls for substantial government involvement in the economy. i. economically fragile.e. Nigeria. terrorist leaders are concerned that ties to non-ideological partners will increase the chance of successful police penetration or that profits will seduce the faithful. are unlikely to form long-term strategic alliances with terrorists. • Criminal syndicates. Organized crime groups usually do not want to see governments toppled but thrive in countries where governments are weak. Organized crime is motivated by the desire to make money and tends to regard any activity beyond that required to effect profit as bad for business. such as India. or chemical weapons will increase between now and 2020.
Countries in these regions are generally those “behind” the globalization curve. Those states unable both to satisfy the expectations of their peoples and to resolve or quell conflicting demands among them are likely to 97 .” creating conditions likely to spawn internal conflict. or ethnic group. The ability to respond to such attacks will require critical technology to close the gap between attacker and defender. intense religious convictions. and youth bulges will align to create a ‘perfect storm’ [for] internal conflict. the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states creates conditions for such conflicts to occur in the future. and computer systems that control critical industrial processes such as electricity grids. however. Terrorists already have specified the US information infrastructure as a target and currently are capable of physical attacks that would cause at least brief. those states most susceptible to violence are in a great arc of instability from Sub-Saharan Africa. which is far more valuable and vulnerable than physical systems. including terrorists. through North Africa. and difficult to terminate. Although a leveling off point has been reached. and flood control mechanisms. encounter the most severe and most frequent outbreaks of violence. • The number of internal conflicts is down significantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s. or through direct access by insiders. including the Internet. either through wireless intercept. intrusion into Internet-connected systems. refineries. the Caucasus and South and Central Asia and through parts of Southeast Asia.” Internal conflicts are often particularly vicious. ethnic affiliations. destabilizing neighboring countries. will determine whether and to what extent conflicts actually occur. Genocidal conflicts aimed at annihilating all or part of a racial. a growing range of actors. telecommunications networks. New technologies on the horizon provide capabilities for accessing data. and youth bulges will align to create a “perfect storm. Many of these conflicts generate internal displacements and external refugee flows. the Balkans.Cyber Warfare? Over the next 15 years. “Lagging economies. when the breakup of the Soviet Union and Communist regimes in Central Europe allowed suppressed ethnic and nationalist strife to flare. may acquire and develop capabilities to conduct both physical and cyber attacks against nodes of the world’s information infrastructure. and conflicts caused by other crimes against humanity—such as be aimed at Middle Eastern regimes and at Western Europe. For the most part. A key cyber battlefield of the future will be the information on computer systems themselves. Intensifying Internal Conflicts Lagging economies. into the Middle East. The governing capacity of states. • Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to be particularly at risk for major new or worsening humanitarian emergencies stemming from conflict. ethnic affiliations. long-lasting. isolated disruptions. intense religious convictions. religious.
China. Europe. In such instances. as well as the two-bloc standoff during the Cold War. however. the rise of nationalism in some states. India and Pakistan appear to understand the likely prices to be paid by triggering a conflict. Rising Powers: Tinder for Conflict? The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century. • Although a military confrontation between China and Taiwan would derail Beijing’s efforts to gain acceptance as a regional and global power. virtually assured that small conflicts would be quickly generalized. and the raw emotions on both sides of key issues increase the chances for miscalculation. 98 This does not eliminate the possibility of great power conflict. with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control. But nationalistic feelings run high and are not likely to abate.” Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions. and more destructive conventional munitions—create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force. the consequences would be significant. internal conflicts can produce a failing or failed state. intractable humanitarian needs.forced. even if conflict would break out over Taiwan or between India and Pakistan. those territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (like al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia). Japan and Russia. large-scale expulsions of populations—are particularly likely to generate migration and massive. just as China’s military buildup enabling it to bring overwhelming force against Taiwan increases the risk of military conflict. particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries. The rigidities of alliance systems before World War I and during the interwar period. Now. “Africa in 2020 … will increasingly resemble a patchwork quilt with significant differences in economic and political performance. unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars. however. Advances in modern weaponry—longer . particularly given Pakistan’s lack of strategic depth. we cannot discount such a possibility. India.” Some internal conflicts. Additionally. the growing dependence on global financial and trade networks increasingly will act as a deterrent to conflict among the great powers—the US. At their most extreme. precision delivery. • “Advances in modern weaponry—longer ranges. Events such as Taiwan’s proclamation of independence could lead Beijing to take steps it otherwise might want to avoid. Under plausible scenarios Pakistan might use nuclear weapons to counter success by the larger Indian conventional forces. risk escalating into regional conflicts. outside powers as well as the primary actors would want to limit its extent.
with the prospect of prosperity decreasing the level of conflict. those with good leadership that promotes order. and fish products. which. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). African experts have agreed that economic reform and good governance are essential for high economic growth and also have concluded that African countries must take the initiative in negotiating new aid and trade relationships that heretofore were essentially dictated by the international financial institutions and the developed world. and conflict resolution will at least have a chance of progressing. positive difference. The lowering or elimination of tariff barriers and agricultural subsidies in the European Union and the United States.How Can Sub-Saharan Africa Move Forward? Most of the regional experts we consulted believe the most likely scenario for Africa in 2020 is that it will increasingly resemble a patchwork quilt with significant differences in economic and political performance. Our regional experts felt that if African leaders used such investment to help their economies grow—opening avenues to wealth other than through the power of the state— they might be able to mitigate the myriad other problems facing their countries. African leaders face alliances of international and domestic nongovernmental organizations that sometimes want to supplant certain state services. if its members individually and collectively honor their commitments. combined with the demand for raw materials from the burgeoning Chinese and Indian economies. Some states may fail but in others the overall quality of democracy probably will increase. who are more comfortable with democracy than their predecessors and who could provide a strong political dynamic for democracy in the future. but to become a major exporter of agricultural. which currently is mostly confined to the oil sector. institutions. and Islamic groups bent on establishing safehavens. democratic reform will remain slow and imperfect in many countries due to a host of social and economic problems. is possible. Over the next 15 years. criminal networks that operate freely across borders. improve governance. provides one mechanism for bringing about this economic transformation. If progress is achieved in these areas. with its peer review mechanism. Although countries with poor leadership will find it harder not to fail. Leadership will remain the ultimate wild card. even in the least promising circumstances. animal. Expanded development of existing or new sources of wealth will remain key. could provide major stimulus to African economies and overcome decades of depressed commodity prices. could make a huge. and establish the rule of law. Africa’s capacity to benefit from the positive elements of globalization will depend on the extent to which individual countries can bring an end to conflict. 99 . Sub-Saharan Africa is well endowed with them and has the potential not only to be self-sufficient in food. an expansion of foreign investment. Although mineral and natural resources are not evenly distributed among its countries. rein in corruption. An emerging generation of leaders includes many from the private sector. but it is highly unlikely that democracy will be challenged as the norm in Africa.
Khan network. a number of countries will continue to pursue their nuclear. cause a possible shift in the balance of power. may decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their 100 neighbors and regional rivals already are doing so. The WMD Factor Nuclear Weapons. The increased range of new missile and aircraft delivery systems provides sanctuary to their possessors. and increase the risk of conflicts escalating into nuclear ones. further concealing them from scrutiny. • The assistance of proliferators. increasing the potential for agents that are more difficult to detect or to defend against. Under these circumstances. Current nuclear weapons states will continue to improve the survivability of their deterrent forces and almost certainly will improve the reliability. The open demonstration of nuclear capabilities by any state would further discredit the current nonproliferation regime. • Given the goal of some terrorist groups to use weapons that can be employed surreptitiously and generate dramatic impact. we expect to see terrorist use of some readily available biological and chemical weapons. Countries will continue to integrate both CW and BW production capabilities into apparently legitimate commercial infrastructures. Over the next 15 years.Q. chemical. and more destructive conventional munitions— create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force.” Chemical and Biological Weapons. accuracy. will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons. • Major advances in the biological sciences and information technology probably will accelerate the pace of BW agent development.ranges. and BW/CW programs will be less reliant on foreign suppliers. precision delivery. Through 2020 some countries will continue to try to develop chemical agents designed to circumvent the . and lethality of their delivery systems as well as develop capabilities to penetrate missile defenses. “Countries without nuclear weapons … may decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals are already doing so. Moreover. especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia. a number of recent hightechnology conflicts have demonstrated that the outcomes of early battles of major conflicts most often determine the success of entire campaigns. there will be great premiums associated with the ability to expand conflicts geographically in order to deny an attacker sanctuary. Developments in CW and BW agents and the proliferation of related expertise will pose a substantial threat. Until strategic defenses become as strong as strategic offenses. • Countries without nuclear weapons. as we have noted. and biological weapons programs and in some cases will enhance their capabilities. military experts believe preemption is likely to appear necessary for strategic success. including former private entrepreneurs such as the A. particularly from terrorists.
Security will remain at risk from increasingly advanced and lethal ballistic and cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).. Both North Korea and Iran probably will have an ICBM capability well before 2020 and will be working on improvements to enhance such capabilities. and accuracy of the missile systems in their inventories. although new regimes in either country could rethink these objectives.Chemical Weapons Convention verification regime. An SLV is a key stepping-stone toward an ICBM: it could be used as a booster in an ICBM development. States almost certainly will continue to increase the range.” Delivery Systems. “Developments in CW and BW agents and the proliferation of related expertise will pose a substantial threat.. reliability. By 2020 several countries of concern probably will have acquired Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACMs) capable of threatening the US Homeland if brought closer to US shores. Several other countries are likely to develop space launch vehicles (SLVs) by 2020 to put domestic satellites in orbit and to enhance national prestige. 101 . particularly from terrorists.
including the international financial ones and regional security bodies. most problems. Other issues that are likely to emerge on the international agenda will add to the pressures on the collective international order as well as on individual countries. Many states. The problem of state failure—which is a source or incubator for a number of transnational threats—argues for better coordination between institutions. continue to worry about setting precedents for outside intervention that can be used against them. and Somalia demonstrated the ineffectiveness. debates over environmental issues connected with tempering climate change risk scrambling the international order. and WMD proliferation. Ethical issues linked to biotechnological discoveries such as cloning. especially the emerging powers. Such post-World War II creations as the United Nations and international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they take into consideration the growing power of the rising powers. and weaknesses of global and regional institutions to deal with what are likely to be the more common types of conflict in the future. GMOs. Bosnia. unless more global cooperation is achieved. Institutional reform might increasingly surface as an issue. Many in the developing world believe power in international bodies is too much a snapshot of the post-World War II world rather than the current one. Rising powers may see in the ethical and environmental debates an attempt by the rich countries to slow down their progress by imposing “Western” standards or values. as well as developed countries against the developing world. terrorism. pitting the US against its traditional European allies. Regionally based institutions will be particularly challenged to meet the complex transnational threats posed by economic upheavals. concerns about privacy and extraterritoriality may increasingly surface among publics worldwide. Building a global consensus on how and when to intervene is likely to be the biggest hurdle to greater effectiveness but essential in many experts’ eyes if multilateral institutions are to live up to their potential and promise. unless and until they can be radically adapted to accommodate new actors and new priorities. Similarly. These “new” issues could become the staples of international diplomacy much as human rights did in the 1970s and 1980s. and access to biomedicines could become the source of hot debates among countries and regions. As technology increases the capabilities of states to track terrorists. Nevertheless. lack of preparation. such as failing states. • Both supporters and opponents of multilateralism agree that Rwanda. organized crime. 102 . can only be effectively dealt with through early recognition and preventive measures.International Institutions in Crisis Increased pressures on international institutions will incapacitate many.
In the late 1990s. and use of. Both the international law enshrining territorial sovereignty and the Geneva Conventions governing the conduct of war were developed before transnational security threats like those of the twenty-first century were envisioned. the principles covering resort to. if any. continues to be vigorously contested by countries worried about harm to the principle of national sovereignty. 103 .The Rules of War: Entering “No Man’s Land” With most armed conflict taking unconventional or irregular forms—such as humanitarian interventions and operations designed to root out terrorist home bases— rather than conventional state-to-state warfare. Protection for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in conflict situations is another issue that has become more complicated as some charitable work—such as Wahabi missionaries funding terrorist causes—has received criticism and enforcement action at the same time that Western and other NGOs have become “soft targets” in conflict situations. and interrogate POWs or detainees. This principle. Containing and limiting the scale and savagery of conflicts will be aggravated by the absence of clear rules. the outcry over former Serbian President Milosevic’s treatment of Kosovars spurred greater acceptance of the principle of international humanitarian interventions. A debate over the degree to which religious leaders and others who are perceived as abetting or inciting violence should be considered international terrorists is also likely to come to the fore. The legal status and rights of prisoners taken during military operations and suspected of involvement in terrorism will be a subject of controversy—as with many captured during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan. military force will increasingly be called into question. The role of the United States in trying to set norms is itself an issue and probably will complicate efforts by the global community to come to an agreement on a new set of rules. The Iraq war has raised questions about what kind of status. providing support to those in the “just war” tradition who have argued since the founding of the UN and before that the international community has a “duty to intervene” in order to prevent human rights atrocities. man POW detention centers. however. to accord to the increasing number of contractors used by the US military to provide security.
One is ideologically committed to leveling the playing field and ensuring the Muslim world has its share of WMD. ethnic. This scenario is depicted in a series of text-message exchanges between two arms dealers. As the scenario progresses. fear begets fear. the cycle of fear originating with WMD-laden terrorist attacks has gotten out of hand—to the benefit of the arms dealers. but Sub-Saharan Africa will struggle with attracting sufficient resources and political will. However.“Such post-World War II creations as the UN and international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they take into consideration the growing power of the developing world. and religious identities. Africa’s effort to build a regional peacekeeping force shows some promise. the international community’s efforts to prevent outbreaks and ensure that conflicts are not a prelude to new ones could remain elusive.” Fictional Scenario: Cycle of Fear This scenario explores what might happen if proliferation concerns increased to the point that largescale intrusive security measures were taken. proliferators—such as illegal arms merchants—might find it increasingly hard to operate. with the spread of WMD. while the other is strictly for hire. but at the same time. The draconian measures increasingly implemented by governments to stem proliferation and guard against terrorism also have the arms dealers beginning to run scared. but more so with the growing importance of cultural. Post-Combat Environments Pose the Biggest Challenge For the United States particularly. • • 104 . if the past decades are any guide waging and winning a conventional war is unlikely to be much of a challenge over the next 15 years in light of our overarching capabilities to conduct such a war. In all of this. more countries might want to arm themselves for their own protection. Neither knows for sure who is at the end of his chain—a government client or terrorist front. globalization may be the real victim. However. who appear to be engaged in lucrative deals. In such a world. The enormous costs in resources and time for meaningful nationbuilding or post-conflict/failed state stability operations are likely to be a serious constraint on such coalition or international commitments. • Nation-building is at best an imperfect concept.
Even when it isn't WMD. I worry about the chip. Both dealers indicate they are increasingly worried about new devices that can track them. Their military threats got my client's attention. Regular hoof and mouth. It's going to be difficult. That series of attacks spooked everybody. . Hard to tell the difference at first. You're kidding. A big hit happened before hoof and mouth. but now it's impossible to operate there. . He can't wait now for things to happen. That new Patriot Act went way beyond anything imagined after 9/11. Yeah they really got the superpower on the run. they think it is. . America also had its share of the real thing. Lots of people sympathize. The more talk of military action. . worry even in Muslim world. but I think my ultimate client's different. And I have other buyers who are interested.Two arms dealers engage in unspecified illegal activity. especially bw. Let's say more shady types. and are finding conducting business increasingly difficult. I'm in it for the money. Yeah. However. How? In procuring it? No. Don't be so sure. America's got a lot of support 'cause of the terrorists. I say. U're in one of the poorest countries You'r telling me. People also leery of attacks. Doesn't matter too much who pays just so long as they do. How do you know you didn't help the terrorists? Can't know for certain. The material he is interested in could be nuclear technology. are u there? Marco contacted me already. . Those terrorists are ruining our business. not just the Americans. . The bomb's important. I heard. And to get back at the Crusaders? That too. Yeah I know you're committed. Dealer B (gold phone) warns that the tide of international public opinion may be turning in favor of stronger counter-proliferation because of the terrorist attacks. Dealer A (green phone) seems to think he is working for a country. the better. Too many eyes on me. I want my people and faith to be respected. But the yanks are doing us a favor. Still I worry. went overboard. Dubai was so civilized. Moving it. he intimates that terrorists are also interested in doing business with him.
But maybe not as many as they think. A month later. but that's not bad for business Which business? I've got several to tend to. With the world slipping into a recession because of the terrorist attacks and the severe clampdown. Sa'id contacted you? Yeah. the in-between mentioned in last month's conversation. What happened to globalization? Ha. No relation to marco. Dealer A (in black) again talks to Dealer B (in blue). Yeah. Big brother and some of the smaller fry. Lots of legits going belly up. Dealer A (in green ) goes back to explaining why the increased terrorist attacks have also increased government interest in WMD programs. . Dealer A (in green) looks on the bright side. and they have friends in the world to help them. . ha. if you know what I mean. Conversation breaks off at this point. The dealer's quip about there being no relation is an obvious inside joke. Those operations last year wrapped up a big chain. Yeah some have turned into ministates.Got one imbedded in you? D-. of course. Legitimate businesses are now turning a blind eye and selling dual-use technology even when they have doubts about the end user. but I don't beleive what those guys claim about protecting privacy. Lots of countries want an insurance policy. Talk of preemption. Dealers have also changed devices. or they run them. . special measures. has changed aliases and is now known as Sa'id. which are shown in new colors. The first dealer also reverts to his theme that the downturn in the world economy has been a boon to the illegal business. Too much has happened.well better not. You're right. martial law. . You can't trust the Americans.about the terrorists and their capabilities. Marco. he thinks he can get legitimate businesses to look the other way. which may or may not be his real name. What do you mean? My client's scared s------. Against big brother.
Some mbating the io ld and the plication in co the dealers in the scenar between the Muslim wor A com one of ing field exemplified byoney but to level the play em in it for th ructed by was not obst West. muhammed. sa'id. operation wh co international lenge. A little hangup with the certification. but with plausible deniability. They get confused by our names. and terrorist read of WMD greater sense of increasing sp to break. The or erated by an fear cycle gen ould be one of the hardest quire WMD for protection The way. r al commerce omic meltdown could spu ation so that intern ant since any econ it illegal lance crative. He said Feds did not suspect. Got the stuff through? Dealer A (in black) is no doubt being intentionally cryptic about the material for fear of interception. Are u there? Where are u? It is not clear if text messaging has failed to go through. as e ideological deterrence. Dealer B has gone underground or been swept up by a security roundup. Got some help in other country. It may have something to do with nuclear technology or possibly other illicit goods. But he was cool. albe Achieving a ba rity would be import in a highly lu ive secu sts to engage excess scienti sinesses and legitimate bu cle might en the fear cy activity. "Lessons Lea rned" · · · attacks. What do you mean? Makes the corporate world an easy target. One month later Yeah but they traced it back from the subsidiary. D would be th dealers would not be spread of WM story. Can't keep up-marco. Just don't have an ear for it. One would hope Dealer A is now getting nervous. Witting or unwitting? I'd say witting. Have to be extremely careful these days.This recession's helping. Corporate type told me he was questioned. w ies to ac once under more countr ight prompt insecurity m factor. This would indicate that authorities inside some countries remain helpful despite the clampdown or outward cooperation with the United States. d sustaining ld be a chal eveloping an ou D go it alone w drive some to · . Why the feds? It wasn't transiting America.
the nature and extent of terrorism. The looser the connections . the United States. are one of the few developments that could threaten globalization. discontinuities. and Africa. particularly in the Middle East. However. Central Asia. Counterterrorism efforts in the years ahead—against a more diverse set of terrorists who are connected more by ideology and technology than by geography—will be a more elusive challenge than focusing on a relatively centralized organization such as al-Qa’ida. a third is the role of social and religious identity. terrorist campaigns that escalate to unprecedented heights. who will remain a threat to global security. • On balance. in particular. including between states. The evolving framework of international politics in all the scenarios suggests that nonstate actors will continue to assume a more prominent role even though they will not displace the nation-state. and a fourth is the breakdown of the international order because of growing insecurity. They highlight various “switching points” that could shift developments onto one path or the other. Despite daunting challenges. and providing humanitarian assistance. particularly if they involve WMD. which exemplify largely positive forces by spreading technology. One lens is the globalized economy. The United States and other countries throughout the world will continue to be vulnerable to international terrorism. In a sense. As we have noted in the Cycle of Fear scenario. will be better positioned than most countries to adapt to the changing global environment. one of the lessons of that and the other scenarios is the need for management to ensure globalization does not go off the rails. promoting social and economic progress. the scenarios provide us with four different lenses on future developments. Such actors range from terrorists. The most important tipping points include the impact of robust economic growth and the spread of technology. the prospects for global prosperity and the limited likelihood of great power conflict provide an overall favorable environment for coping with the challenges ahead. as the hypothetical Davos World scenario 111 shows. underlining the wide range of factors. to NGOs and global firms. and the potential spread of conflict. the rapid changes might also produce disorder at times. the resiliency or weakness of states. As our scenarios illustrate. robust economic growth probably will help to overcome divisions and pull more regions and countries into a new global order.Policy Implications The international order will be in greater flux in the period out to 2020 than at any point since the end of the Second World War. another is the security role played by the US. we see several ways in which major global changes could begin to take shape and be buffeted or bolstered by the forces of change over the next 15 years. As we map the future. for example. and uncertainties shaping a new global order.
Is the United States’ Technological Prowess at Risk? US investment in basic research and the innovative application of technology has directly contributed to US leadership in economic and military power during the postWorld War II era. Americans, for example, invented and commercialized the semiconductor, the personal computer, and the Internet with other countries following the US lead.a While the United States is still the present leader, there are signs this leadership is at risk. The number of US engineering graduates peaked in 1985 and is presently down 20 percent from that level; the percentage of US undergraduates taking engineering is the second lowest of all developed countries. China graduates approximately three times as many engineering students as the United States. However, post-9/11 security concerns have made it harder to attract incoming foreign students and, in some cases, foreign nationals available to work for US firms.b Non-US universities—for which a US visa is not required—are attempting to exploit the situation and bolster their strength. Privately funded industrial research and development—which accounts for 60 percent of the US total—while up this year, suffered three previous years of decline.c Further, major multinational corporations are establishing corporate “research centers” outside of the United States. While these signs are ominous, the integrating character of globalization and the inherent strengths of the US economic system preclude a quick judgment of an impending US technological demise. By recent assessments, the United States is still the most competitive society in the world among major economies.d In a globalized world where information is rapidly shared—including cross-border sharing done internally by multinational corporations—the creator of new science or technology may not necessarily be the beneficiary in the marketplace.
“Is America Losing Its Edge? Innovation in a Globalized World.” Adam Segal, Foreign Affairs, November December 2004; New York, NY p.2. b “ Observations on S&T Trends and Their Potential Impact on Our Future.” William Wulf (President, National Academy of Engineering). Paper submitted to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in support of the National Intelligence Council 2020 Study, Summer 2004. c “ Is America Losing Its Edge?,” p.3. d Global Competitiveness Report 2004-2005, World Economic Forum, http://www.weforum.org. October 2004.
among individual terrorists and various cells, the more difficult it will be to uncover and disrupt terrorist plotting. • One of our scenarios—Pax Americana—envisages a case in which US and European consensus on fighting terrorism would grow much stronger but, under other scenarios, including the hypothetical New Caliphate, US, Russian, Chinese and European interests diverge, possibly limiting cooperation on counterterrorism.
opportunities, and empowerment of Muslim reformers would be viewed positively by the broad Muslim communities who do not support the radical agenda of Islamic extremists. A New Caliphate scenario dramatizes the challenge of addressing the underlying causes of extremist violence, not just its manifest actions. • The Middle East is unlikely to be the only battleground in which this struggle between extremists and reformers occurs. European and other Muslims outside the Middle East have played an important role in the internal ideological conflicts, and the degree to which Muslim minorities feel integrated in European societies is likely to have a bearing on whether they see a clash of civilizations as inevitable or not. Southeast Asia also has been increasingly a theater for terrorism.
“The US will have to battle world public opinion, which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War.”
The success of the US-led global counterterrorism campaign will hinge on the capabilities and resolve of individual countries to fight terrorism on their own soil. Efforts by Washington to bolster the capabilities of local security forces in other countries and to work with them on their priority issues (such as soaring crime) would be likely to increase cooperation. • Defense of the US Homeland will begin overseas. As it becomes more difficult for terrorists to enter the United States, they are likely to try to attack the Homeland from neighboring countries.
A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. The development of more open political systems, broader economic
Related to the terrorist threat is the problem of the proliferation of WMD and the potential for countries to have increased motivation to acquire nuclear weapons if their neighbors and regional rivals are doing so. As illustrated in the Cycle of Fear scenario, global efforts to erect greater barriers to the spread of WMD and to dissuade any other countries from seeking nuclear arms or other WMD as protection will continue to be a challenge. As various of our scenarios underline, the communications revolution gives proliferators a certain advantage in striking deals with each other and eluding the authorities, and the “assistance” they provide can cut years off the time it would take for countries to develop nuclear weapons.
How the World Sees the United States In the six regional conferences that we hosted we asked participants about their views of the role of the United States as a driver in shaping developments in their regions and globally. Asia Participants felt that US preoccupation with the war on terrorism is largely irrelevant to the security concerns of most Asians. The key question that the United States needs to ask itself is whether it can offer Asian states an appealing vision of regional security and order that will rival and perhaps exceed that offered by China. US disengagement from what matters to US Asian allies would increase the likelihood that they would climb on Beijing’s bandwagon and allow China to create its own regional security order that excludes the United States. Participants felt that the rise of China need not be incompatible with a US-led international order. The critical question is whether or not the order is flexible enough to adjust to a changing distribution of power on a global level. An inflexible order would increase the likelihood of political conflict between emerging powers and the United States. If the order is flexible, it may be possible to forge an accommodation with rising powers and strengthen the order in the process. Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan African leaders worry that the United States and other advantaged countries will “pull up the drawbridge” and abandon the region. Participants opined that the United States and other Western countries may not continue to accept Africa’s most successful “export,” its people. The new African diaspora is composed overwhelmingly of economic migrants rather than political migrants as in previous eras. Some participants felt that Africans worry that Western countries will see some African countries as “hopeless” over the next 15 years because of prevailing economic conditions, ecological problems, and political circumstances. Participants feared that the United States will focus only on those African countries that are successful. Latin America Conference participants acknowledged that the United States is the key economic, political, and military player in the hemisphere. At the same time, Washington was viewed as traditionally not paying sustained attention to the region and, instead of responding to systemic problems, as reacting primarily to crises. Participants saw a fundamentalist trend in Washington that would lead to isolation and unilateralism and undercut cooperation. Most shared the view that the US “war on terrorism” had little to do with Latin America’s security concerns. Latin American migrants are a stabilizing force in relations with the United States. An important part of the US labor pool, migrants also remit home needed dollars along with new views on democratic governance and individual initiative that will have a positive impact on the region. (Continued on next page…)
Regarding the prospects for democracy in the region. The perceived propping up of corrupt regimes by the United States in exchange for secure oil sources has in itself helped to promote continued stagnation. • • They were divided over whether China’s rise would draw the United States and Europe closer or not. Some Middle East experts argued that Washington has reinforced zero-sum politics in the region by focusing on top Arab rulers and not cultivating ties with emerging leaders in and outside the government. environmental. They also differed over the importance of common economic. and energy problems to the alliance. Europe and Eurasia Participants engaged in a lively debate over whether a rift between the US and Europe is likely to occur over the next 15 years with some contending that a collapse of the US-EU partnership would occur as part of the collapse of the international system. particularly American. is only one element of the democratization process. 115 . they believed. genuine democracy would be achieved sooner. participants felt that the West placed too much emphasis on the holding of elections. There was general agreement that if the United States and Europe can engage with and encourage reformers rather than confront and hector. Several participants contended that if the United States shifts its focus to Asia. which. Ukraine almost certainly will continue to seek admission to NATO and the European Union while Georgia and Moldova probably will maintain their orientation in the same direction. In their view. Although the Middle East has a lot to gain economically from globalization. it was agreed that Arabs/Muslims are nervous that certain aspects of globalization. In our Eurasia workshop. such as that of Fidel Castro. while important.(Continued…) How the World Sees the United States US policies also can have a positive impact. Middle East Participants felt that the role of US foreign policy in the region will continue to be crucial. participants agreed that the United States has only limited influence on the domestic policies of the Central Asian states. Disengagement is highly unlikely but would in itself have an incalculable effect. the EU-US relationship could be strained to the breaking point. values and morality are a threat to traditional cultural and religious values. will continue to seek a balance between Russia and the West. especially the pervasive influence of Western. Some participants said the region would benefit from US application of regional mechanisms to resolve problems rather than punitive measures against regimes not to its liking. although US success or failure in Iraq would have spillover effects in Central Asia. Countries in western Eurasia.
• With the lessening in ties formed during the Cold War. but also those societies that integrate and apply the new technologies. the transatlantic partnership would be a key factor in Washington’s ability to remain the central pivot in international politics. the high-tech leaders are not the only ones that can expect to make gains. crossroads location. The possible contours as several trends develop— including rising powers in Asia.” Asia is particularly important as an engine for change over the next 15 years. In other respects—GDP. dealing with a rising Asia may be the most challenging of all its regional relationships. and collective military expenditures—it has the ability to increase its weight on the international stage. advances in technology. global firms will play a key role in promoting more widespread prosperity and more technological innovation.” On the more positive side. and the shape and scope of globalization. Both the Korea and Taiwan issues are likely to come to a head. a roiling Middle East. stable governments. and how they are dealt with will be important factors shaping future US-Asia ties as well as the US role in the region. As the Pax Americana scenario suggests. including the future of the world trading system. A number of issues will be in play. one of the likely features of the next 15 years is the greater availability of high technology. shared interest in multilateralism as a cornerstone of international relations has been viewed by some scholars as the basis for a budding relationship between Europe and China. As we try to make clear in our Davos World scenario. our scenario points up the beneficial effects of possible new technologies in Africa in helping to eradicate poverty. Japan’s 116 . A key uncertainty is whether the rise of China and India will occur smoothly. retrenchment in Eurasia. For example. One could envisage a range of possibilities from the US enhancing its role as regional balancer between contending forces to Washington being seen as increasingly irrelevant. “For Washington. The degree to which Europe is ready to shoulder more international responsibilities is unclear and depends on its ability to surmount its economic and demographic problems as well as forge a strategic vision for its role in the world. As we have noted elsewhere in this paper. which has been the security guarantor of the postWorld War II order.“A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. not only to those who invent it. For Washington. nontraditional ad hoc alliances are likely to develop. and greater divisions in the transatlantic partnership—remain uncertain and variable. The dramatically altered geopolitical landscape also presents a huge challenge for the international system as well as for the United States. For example. dealing with a rising Asia may be the most challenging of all its regional relationships.
Europe. Russia is likely to be particularly active in trying to prevent spillover. US dependence on foreign oil supplies also makes it more vulnerable as the competition for secure access grows and the risks of supply-side disruptions increase. US economic and technological advantages may be vulnerable to erosion. globalizing community. the widespread trend toward religious and cultural identification suggests that various identities apart from the nationstate will need to be accommodated in a globalized world. integrate those societies and regions that feel themselves left behind or reject elements of the globalization process.position in the region is also likely to be transformed as it faces the challenge of a more independent security role. providing fertile ground for terrorism and the proliferation of WMD. greater democracy. Providing economic opportunities alone may not be sufficient to enable the “havenots” to benefit from globalization. Two of our scenarios—Pax Americana and Davos World—point up the different roles that the United States is expected to play as security provider and as a financial stabilizer. even though it has enormous internal problems on its own plate.” With the rise of the Asian giants. “A key uncertainty is whether the rise of China and India will occur smoothly. especially Central Asia and the Caucasus. rather. probably will be an area of growing concern. and progress toward an Arab-Israeli peace would stem the shift towards more radical politics in the region and foster greater accord in the transatlantic partnership. Some of our scenarios highlight the extent to which the Middle East could remain at the center of an arc of instability extending from Africa through Central and Southeast Asia. radicalism in the form of Islamic extremism. Farther to the West. Such a possibility points up the need to find ways to engage and . with its large number of potentially failing states. India and the United States. and importance as a supplier or conveyor belt for energy supplies to both West and East. and Moldova could offset their 117 • In the Middle East. increased Asian investment in hightech research coupled with the rapid growth of Asian markets will increase the region’s competitiveness across a wide range of economic and technical activity. market reforms. Eurasia. but also on helping the poor or failing states scattered across a large portion of the world’s surface which have yet to modernize and connect with the larger. Ukraine. • While interdependencies will grow. which may be able to act as stabilizers. where about two thirds of the world’s population resides. The interdependence that results from globalization places increasing importance not only on maintaining stability in the areas of the world that drive the global economy. Belarus. China. The trajectories of these Eurasian states will be affected by external powers such as Russia. Realization of a Caliphate-like scenario would pose the biggest challenge because it would reject the foundations on which the current international system has been built.
The United States is uniquely positioned to facilitate Latin America growth and integration stemming the potential for fragmentation. the United States probably will continue to be called on to help manage such conflicts as Palestine. North Africa may benefit particularly from growing ties with Europe. Both regions may have success stories— countries like Brazil or South Africa— which can provide a model for others to follow. while those—such as the Andean nations currently—that do not or cannot will be left behind. the scenarios and trends we analyze in the paper suggest the challenge will be to harness the power of new players to contribute to global security. “…no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. the number of interstate and internal conflicts has been ebbing. Governance and leadership—often a wild card—will distinguish societies that prosper from those that remain ill-equipped to adapt. using asymmetric strategies. As the hypothetical Davos World scenario suggests. as illustrated in the Cycle of Fear scenario. India’s increasing military spending and investment plans suggest they might be more able to undertake a larger security burden. • China’s and. to a lesser extent. However. be they states or nonstate actors. International and regional institutions also would need to be reformed to • . will recognize the military superiority of the United States. North Korea. including terrorism and illicit acquisition of WMD. globalization in terms of rising commodity prices and expanded economic growth may be a godsend where good governance is also put in place. Rather than acquiesce to US force. Parts of Africa share a similar profile with the weak states of Eurasia and will continue to form part of an extended arc of instability. biological. more countries will be in a position to contest the United States in their regions. potentially relieving the United States of some of the burden. • While no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. The possession of chemical. Taiwan. and/or nuclear weapons by more 118 • countries by 2020 would increase the potential cost of any military action by the United States and its coalition partners. In that vein. Such a shift could usher in a new phase in international politics.” As our Pax Americana scenario dramatizes.vulnerabilities as relatively new states by closer association with Europe and the EU. and Kashmir to ensure they do not get out of hand if a peace settlement cannot be reached. Latin America is likely to become a more diverse set of countries: those that manage to exploit the opportunities provided by globalization will prosper. Most US adversaries. but their lethality and potential to grow in impact once they start is a trend we have noted. they will try to circumvent or minimize US strengths and exploit perceived weaknesses.
cloning and stem cell research. • Whatever its eventual impact or success. but it also found that people in Muslim countries place a high value on such democratic values as freedom of expression. which will become more salient. Although some of the current anti-Americanism13 is likely to lessen as globalization takes on more of a nonWestern face. the United States will nevertheless retain enormous advantages. multiparty political systems. younger leaders are more likely than their predecessors to diverge with Washington’s thinking on a range of issues. freedom of the press. including the United States.” Thus.meet the challenges and shoulder more of the burden. it makes it potentially harder to build a consensus because the media tends to magnify differences. Adapting the international order may also be increasingly challenging because of the growing number of other ethical issues that have the potential to divide worldwide publics. Finally. the younger generation of leaders—unlike during the post-World War II period—has no personal recollection of the United States as its “liberator. Many ethical issues. in having to deal with multiple. The United States will have to battle world public opinion. competing coalitions to achieve resolution of some of these issues. Even as the existing order is threatened. These issues include the environment and climate change. Large majorities in almost every Muslim country favor free market economic systems and believe that Western-style democracy can work in their own country. Such divergent interests underline the challenge for the international community. technological. the media can also facilitate discussions and consensus-building. political. and military—that no other state can or will match by 2020. international law regarding conflict. which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War. potential biotechnology and IT intrusions into privacy. and equal treatment under the law. 119 . For all the challenges ahead. human rights. absent a single overarching threat on which to build consensus. and the role of multilateral institutions. 13 • The Pew Research survey of attitudes around the world revealed sharply rising anti-Americanism. as the Pax Americana scenario suggests. cut across traditional alliances or groupings that were established to deal mainly with security issues. on the other hand. the United States will have many opportunities to fashion a new one. the United States may be increasingly confronted with the challenge of managing—at an acceptable cost to itself—relations with Europe. the Middle East and others. Asia. The media explosion cuts both ways: on the one hand. especially in the Muslim world. the Kyoto climate change treaty exemplifies how formerly nontraditional policy issues can come to the fore and form the core of budding new networks or partnerships. playing a pivotal role across the broad range of issues— economic.
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